Siena has been having some heavy discussions with Mama when saying good night recently. These are prompted by seemingly random, out of the blue questions from Siena.
Last night, Siena asked if marriage required a man and a woman. Mama answered that in our state, that’s not a requirement, just that a good marriage requires that the couple love each other. Siena said that one of her friends at school has two moms. It seems she had been wondering how that worked, especially with respect to being married. I wonder if she’s also been thinking about (or is even aware of) at least one friend whose parents are not married. We were pretty excited to find out about this dimension of diversity in her school.
Tonight, Siena made the statement that, “God puts ideas in our heads.” Well, this required some correcting. Without getting into either a fate-vs.-free-will discussion or a religious discussion about the meaning (or the irony) of punishing sinners if their ideas weren’t their own, Mama just said, that no, God does not put ideas in peoples’ heads. Siena also asked where heaven was. Deep questions, indeed. Apparently, “the boys” at school talk about God quite a bit, so we need to find out what the teachers know and/or are doing about it, if anything. We have a pretty wide spectrum of religion representation among the families at our day-care center, which is completely secular. I would hope that Siena and Thalia, to the extent they get exposed to religion at all at this age, which in my mind is a little young for it, would be exposed to a plurality of beliefs, just to appreciate and understand that different families of good people and close friends have different interpretations about the non-secular. In the mean time, we are trying to make sure Siena knows that some of the things she hears represent faith and beliefs, and that they aren’t things that she necessarily needs to believe to be true.
She also informed Mama tonight that we’ll keep Barley, our dog, until she’s very old and then give her away to someone else, and we’ll go back to the dog park where we met Barley for the first time and get another dog. In all probability, neither of those will be true.
When I say good night to Siena, she usually talks to me about how Tenzing jumped on her bed to snuggle with her, or what she’s going to have for breakfast tomorrow. If I extrapolate my conversations with Siena compared to Mama’s about ten years out, I feel kind of bad for Mama.