The Dinosaur Gods

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 | 1 comment

The Dinosaur Gods

My husband and I were both raised in religion, his was Judaism, mine was Presbeterianism (is that an ism?). I was baptized, he had his Bar Mitzvah. He even went to a Catholic high school, and took an educational trip to Israel. He is decidedly more well-versed in religion than I am.

Yet we have both come to the same decision: as far as our “formal” beliefs as adults go, the jury is still out. Agnosticism, atheism, there’s not quite an -ism for us. Not-sure-what-to-label-us-ism.

Either way, there is one thing that’s clear. We have never really discussed the concept of “God” with our children.

We have talked about death. Death and dying and the afterlife and all of the details therein ad nauseum. The boys are very aware that their Grandma Judi (my mother) passed before they were born, and for several years now they’ve been asking the whole gamut of questions.

Death is always a tricky one with children, but as usual, autism brings it to a whole new level. Jack’s phase of asking people about my mother’s death directly seems to have ceased for the time being. My father will be happy to hear that one.

Jack understands that my parents divorced before my mother died, and he gets where his Grandma S (my step-mother) fits into the picture. That didn’t stop him from looking my father directly in the eye and asking “is your wife dead?”

Yeah, that was an awkward moment. I had prepared my step-mom for the potential questions, since it had been a hot topic for Jack that month, but I had forgotten to inform my dad.

Sorry, Dad. He gets it now. I think.

So even though we have gone through the science and semantics of life, the universe and everything, we have not yet discussed the Big Guy in The Sky. Not for any specific reason, we just haven’t.

Until this week.

For some reason, Jack was discussing baptism with his special needs assistant (SEA) at school. She told him that baptism is, basically, where babies get a little water put on their head, and it’s something people do to show their devotion to God.

Yes, he wanted to know all about why you would possibly want to put water on a baby, but that wasn’t the first thing he asked. No, he had another query, one his SEA was wholly unprepared for.

“What’s God?”

I would like to formally apologize to Jack’s SEA. I remember the first time he asked about death, and the cold chill that went up my spine. My husband wasn’t home, and I was put right on the spot. What’s the right answer? *Is* there a right answer?

After taking a moment to consult her French dictionary, the SEA rallied.

“God is a supreme being that some people believe in, and they go to church to show their belief.”

Jack thought about that for a while. He’s been obsessed with space and all things science, so she expected a whole host of pointed questions.

He had only one.

“I went to dinosaur camp in a church. Do those people believe in dinosaurs?”

Yes, yes they do.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

dinosaur gods

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