Boy-Child (5): Hey! It’s a cross. Like what Jesus had!
Boy-Child: Except His was up on a hill. Wasn’t it, Mum?
Me: Yes, that’s what I’m told.
Boy-Child: And then He died up on the hill. He DIED so that we all could LIVE. And then, He came back to life and after that he made GOD.
Boy-Child: He did! No, wait. God made us. So He must have been there already. Who made God, Mum? And how is Jesus his Dad?
Me: I really don’t know the right answer to that, mate. But I’m pretty sure the story goes the other way around, and God was Jesus’ Dad.
Boy-Child: (not listening anyway) I think God must have made His own self. Did you know, He is everywhere? Because He’s like dust, or gas in the air or something. He’s RIGHT HERE BESIDE YOU NOW! Know how I can tell? Because you’re alive. If you want to be alive, you need God. No God? No living.
Me: I’m not sure that’s exactly how it works, sweetie.
Boy-Child: What do you mean, you’re not sure?
Me: I mean, nobody really knows the answers to all of this stuff. There are lots of stories, and lots of people think different things about where we came from and what happens when we die, but even if we believe something we can’t ever really be sure that we know the answers.
Boy-Child: (sagely) Ahh. That’s what YOU think.
Me: Excuse me?
Boy-Child: You say nobody knows for sure, but there are some Wise Ones that do!
Me: Wise Ones? Really? Like who? (Fully expecting him to tell me ‘Sister Veronica’, or ‘Nan’, or ‘The Pope’)
Boy-Child: Like Santa, silly!
Yes, it turns out Santa is ‘wise’ because he is old and he has a beard he can stroke. Wise people always have beards and stroke them when they think. Hence Pop is wise, his uncles are sometimes wise and sometimes not, and of course all wizards are wise (which may be true, but I would argue not because of the beards). This segued into an interesting discussion about wisdom vs cleverness, and the paradox he’s stuck with because despite my theological shortcomings he thinks I’m wise – but I’m not old (ahem) and I have no beard (left unchecked I’d have a respectable ‘tache though).