Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

I couldn't really get my daughter a new Easter dress or make her an Easter basket (I can't wait to do both), but I could tell her the Easter story (which is probably the most relevant thing to do anyway). So, as I held her tonight, I began telling the story of how Jesus was sent to Earth to save humanity from sin. And there I had to stop. What? Sin? Was this appropriate for a 35-weeker/2-month-old? I mean, really, the Easter story is filled with betrayal, abuse, pain, and murder. What is that to tell a child? She has to deal with heel sticks and horribly invasive breathing machines already so I try to fill her mind with only good words and images.

Unfortunately, bible stories do not fit the bill. Once, when I attempted to switch up the reading of Oh, Baby, the Places You'll Go with the story of David and Goliath, I had to edit mid-read. There was war and killing and decapitation. Horribly inappropriate. The baby must have thought so, too, because she had her first apnea spell with us that day. I'll give that book away to someone who has older kids.

Growing up in the church caused bible stories to become interwoven into the fabric of my consciousness so that I knew them, but I didn't really see the details of them. I didn't realize how violent and racy they are. Now, I see that in addition to the abuse and murder, there are swindlers, and hookers and rapists and people turning into salt. I am going to have to sanitize all of this for the baby before she can hear any of these stories. (By the way, that David and Goliath book was a children's book so I think they had already tried to sanitize it.)

In the meantime, DH doesn't want to tell her stories about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Although I'm definitely going to rail against that request at Christmas time, I am considering railing now. I've always thought the idea of a gigantic rabbit bringing candy and eggs (what do rabbits have to do with eggs, anyway?) to kids to be a ridiculous notion. Now, however, the Easter Bunny seems quite benign. He's already sanitized and kid-friendly. Perhaps that is the story I will tell. At least until she's two.

1 comment:

The Steel Magnolia said...

Right. But I have to say that it's nice to tell those stories when they can't ask questions. We were working on our Easter program song, "I Know It Was the Blood" and realized that it's kind of gory. DD sang her heart out and did the hand motions, but the truth is that the verse says, "They pierced him in His side . . . The whipped Him up Calvary . . . He died upon the cross." That's not cheery. But whaddaya gonna do?!