Recently, as I was driving the little clowncars home, one of them asked from the back seat, "Daddy, what is heaven?"
I've been dreading this talk. The sex talk I'm fine with. I'm pretty sure that more information about sex is going to be good for them. Say the wrong thing about heaven and hell, though, and I fear some serious warpage may occur.
Religion they're being introduced to. Lil Hux has been taking them to a nice, calm, so-reasonable-it's-barely-religious Unitarian church lately (I stay home and write and make a big Sunday lunch). And they learn about all the religions there, in a very general sense, and that's all good.
But what to say about heaven, specifically, has bothered me.
So when they asked, I thought "it's showtime" and defaulted to the truth.
I said most people believed in heaven. But their Mom and Dad did not. They could decide for themselves.
I said heaven was a place you went when you died (I didn't bring hell into the mix, nor will I, ever). Where everyone was happy all the time, and you could do your favorite things all day long. But that the best thing about heaven was that people you loved who died lived there. So you can be with the people you loved forever.
I said I didn't believe in it, but that people who did, did so because it made them feel better about people they loved dying. I started to go into my whole we're-all-made-of-stars brand of animism, but I clearly lost them 10 words into it, so I let it go. I'll pick up that thread another day.
I asked them if they believed in heaven. Youngest said she did, of course, and immediately populated heaven with unicorns and kitties and golf (we were driving past a golf course at the time). She'll be fine. I think of her as a "unicornitarian."
Oldest stayed noticeably silent.
Religion on one side. Nothingness on the other.
We shall see where all this goes.