Yesterday, as my oldest son and I were on our way to Los Angeles we drove past Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It had been a few years since I had driven past it and I had forgotten how beautiful it was. So I pointed it out for him to see.
And then he asked me what it was.
And I was left there with the decision of what to say. I mean, how do you explain a cemetery to a little kid after all? I decided to go in for the kill.
“When people die, their souls go to Heaven to be with God and their bodies stay here with us. Some people like to bury their bodies in the ground at a place like that so that we who are left here on Earth have a place to visit them. But they’re not really there, only their bodies are because their souls are with God”.
I patted myself on the back. I thought I did pretty good explaining souls and death and cemeteries and stuff to a 5 year old. And then he said:
“I like trees!”
And I realized at that moment that parenting is a lot like throwing pennies in a wishing well. You can’t see where the penny went but you did hear that hollow thud when it hit the water.
Here I was giving him gems of gold, pure parenting advice gold and all he had to say was that he liked trees.
All I can do is have faith that the penny I threw is in there somewhere.