If home-training your child to give the proper Sunday School answers were a graded course, Charlie and I would have been kicked out faster than that time we were asked to leave dog obedience school.
In many ways, we’ve purposely not coached him on the “right” answers. We both want him to ask hard questions about tough subjects and come to a resolution that makes sense in his own soul, not just say what he’s supposed to say to make other people happy.
In concept, this is a really great plan. It’s very high-minded and grand. In reality, it means he will say things that are totally mortifying…things that make me reconsider this entire plan.
For instance, when he was three, his Sunday School teacher went around the room right before Thanksgiving asking all the children to say what they were grateful for. Every single child in the class knew the right answer: they all declared they were thankful for their parents.
My child was the only one to deviate from the script. He said he was grateful for Mater. Yep, the one you’re thinking about: the tow truck character from Cars.
Four years later, things haven’t changed much. At church this past Sunday, we were asked to write down on cards the things for which we give thanks. Practicing gratitude in uncertain times can be particularly useful.
Most people wrote things like: family, friends, church, health, or other generally accepted appropriate answers. My kid doesn’t go for that.
That’s right, Jango Fett, the Star Wars character. He’s a bounty hunter who is the DNA source for the clone army. He keeps one clone for himself: Boba Fett. It’s Boba who eventually captures Han Solo and takes him in frozen carbonite to Jaba the Hutt.
To recap, when asked to express gratitude in his life, my son has adjusted his admiration of a not-so-bright tow truck with a big heart to a scheming bounty hunter, who shows himself to be amoral. Sometimes I try to comfort myself with the idea that it’s really the rocket booster he likes. But somehow I doubt it.
However, on the good news front, Jackson does have very nice table manners for a seven-year-old boy. That part of his home training has gone fairly well.
So I’ve decided to write a book on child rearing. Because obviously, we’re exceptional parents. Coming to stores next fall: Which Fork Would a Bounty Hunter Use…to Stab You in the Eye?