I had to share this story with someone. I thought it would be a good little pick me so I am posting here.
I struggle with how to teach a 2.5 year old about faith. We speak at very basic levels and not even with the proper terminology yet, but I relay what I can. Before dinner we make the sign of the cross and say “Amen” (“No Eat! We have to say Amen’s first daddy!”). At night we know we put our hands together and ask God to watch over Mommy, Daddy, and sister - the she will add friends at school, her stuffed doll, and even inaitmate objects like the bed. At church she knows who a priest is and that he “gets everyone all wet” (sprinkling of Holy Water) and tells “Everyone stand up. OK, we Sit down now”.
I thought I was teaching poorly till last night.
My daughter was becoming terrified of the thunder storm and my wife and I were consoling her in bed. (We explained it was God bowling making all the racket. Which turned into “Bowling scares me”).
In any case, we told her it was ok and that she had Big Elmo (a 2.5ft tall stuffed friend) watching over her. She she grabbed him, laid Big Elmo on top of her, and gave Elmo a huge hug. Then we added, “If you are scared you can say ‘God, I am scared will you watch over me please’”,
She instantly put her hands together in prayer behind elmo’s back (as he is on top of her now), closed her eyes, and said that word for word. Then she opened her eyes and said “Daddy, God loves me just like big Elmo. Big Elmo can give me hugs, but God can’t give me big hugs”. I didn’t know if I should be impressed or cry. Then she said “God makes a steeple and wants to know where all the people are” as she tries to do the “here is the steeple” childhood saying with her hands.
After 10 minutes of it booming outside, she laid in our bed and watch TV untill “God stopped bowling”. About 45 minutes later I walked a terrified little girl back to her room where she laid down.“Daddy will you stay and protect me” she asks. I responded with “I don’t have to honey, God will protect you. You just have to ask.”
Then she responds with “Daddy, if I go outside can God give me a hug? I love God, and God love me - I want to give him a hug but I can’t”.
I was so taken back I didn’t know what to say. Then she rolled over on her side, grabbed Elmo. Pulled up her blanket to her shoulders as if to protect herself. She turns to Elmo and said "It’s OK Elmo we ask God for help. Then she starts to tell God she is scared and wants him to look over her.
10 minutes later, she was asleep.