Last week, a note was sent home from McKay's school letting parents know that all fifth graders would be watching the MATURATION film this Friday. What??!! How is my little tiny baby old enough to be watching a maturation film??
Once I came to terms with the idea that my baby isn't such a baby anymore, I realized that we needed to have "the talk" with McKay before he sees that film. And since I have taken care of the first three "talks" with the girls, I thought it would be appropriate for Craig to handle this final one. That's fair, don't you think?
I have a very strong conviction that the BIG topics in life, the standards, the truths, need to be heard FIRST from reliable sources and not left up to friends, teachers or the media. Because what we hear first tends to carry more weight in our minds. Our first experience with a thing becomes truth for us and it is very hard to relearn those things.
On Saturday, Craig and McKay spent the day together helping with an Eagle Scout project. After they finished, they ran a few errands and got some lunch. As they sat in the parking lot with the windows open, enjoying their hamburgers, McKay asked Craig, "Why did people have so many kids back in the old days, but they don't anymore?" What a perfect launch into a conversation about maturation! And poor little unsuspecting McKay had no idea what he was walking into. Craig invited McKay to jump up to the front seat and have a little talk with him about families. He mentioned the upcoming film and asked McKay if he knew what it was going to be about. He did. And then Craig went through the pertinent information that he felt McKay needed to know. (I'll leave out those details.)
Near the end of the conversation, Craig felt like he needed to include one more thing. He talked about Heavenly Father and His divine plan for each of us. He talked about "multiplying and replenishing the earth" and about the distinct differences in men and women, both physically and emotionally, and the reasons for those differences. McKay was slightly overwhelmed and didn't ask a single question, but he was attentive. Craig briefly went through the Creation period and explained where we came from. And then he asked McKay if he had ever heard the word "evolution." He hadn't. Craig told McKay that many people believe that humans evolved from lesser creatures and land mammals over many, many years. Craig let him know that sometime in his next few years he would probably encounter a discussion on the topic of evolution and that he needed to know that as members of our Church and followers of the Savior, we do not believe that we evolved from other animals. We believe that God created all things in their intended form; animals were created as animals and people were created as people. That's it. The conversation didn't last much longer than it just took you to read this blog post.
McKay was quite relieved when the conversation ended and he could go back to his lunch. I'm sure Craig was a little bit relieved, too.
And then last night...after dinner...after homework...after I had spent the better part of the afternoon with McKay...he said, "Oh guess what. We watched a movie about evolution today and how whales came from wolves. Isn't that crazy that people can think that?"
That was it. It wasn't a long conversation. He wasn't horrified. He wasn't outraged. He wasn't amazed. He was just telling me about one of the hundreds of things that had happened in his school day.
But here's the amazing thing about that little snippet of McKay's day. He is 10 years old. He's impressionable and he's research-y. And things like a wolf turning into a whale after 65 million years would have caught his attention and would have been very impressive to him...so impressive that it might have been the first thing he told me when he came home from school yesterday instead of an after-thought. It might have been something he researched further on the internet during his computer time. We might have been talking about whales and wolves all week long. But because he had a 2-minute conversation with his dad over the weekend, it wasn't impressive to him at all. We didn't have to reteach him anything or diffuse anything or explain how that theory differs from what we believe. He already knew.
I am so grateful for little spiritual impressions throughout the day that Craig and I both have to help us parent. I'm grateful that we have divine help with this awesome and challenging parenting responsibility. I'm grateful that there are two of us. And I'm grateful for children who trust us and listen to the things we say.