© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

and then we played

I’ve sprinted upstairs to transcribe the following dinnertable conversation with my daughter Delaney, nearly six. The names have been changed to etc:

DELANEY: I was at Kaylee’s house today after school, and she said she believes in God, and she asked if I believe in God, and I said no, I don’t believe in God, and her face got all like this

shocked, shocked!

and she said, But you HAVE to believe in God!

DAD [w/mouthful of grilled pork]: Mmphh fmmp?

DELANEY: And I said no you don’t, every person can believe their own way, and she said no, my Mom and Dad said you HAVE to believe in God! And I said well I don’t, and she said you HAVE to, and I said that doesn’t make sense, because you can’t like go inside somebody’s brain and MAKE them believe something if they don’t believe it, and she said do your Mom and Dad believe in God, and I said no, they don’t believe in God either, and her face did like this again

shocked, shocked!

and she ran into her room and got a book.

DAD [mashed potatoes]: Mm bhhk?

DELANEY: Yes, a picture book, and she said you HAVE to show this to your Mom and Dad, it’ll make them believe in God!

DAD: Whu…

DELANEY: And I said, I don’t have to show them that book, and she said if you don’t show it to them and if you don’t believe in God, you can’t come to my house anymore!

[Mom and Dad’s eyes meet, eyebrows fully deployed.]

MOM [who (having been raised right) swallowed her potatoes first]: Then what did you say, sweetie?

DELANEY: She kept saying it, so I cried. And then I said my dad says its okay for people to believe different things, and you can even change your mind a hundred times! And she said okay, okay, stop crying, you can come to my house anyway.

MOM: And then what?

DELANEY: And then we played.

linky with bandana

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This was written on Saturday, 20. October 2007 at 08:20 and was filed under Atlanta, belief and believers, diversity, Kerfuffles, My kids, nonbelief and nonbelievers. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Wow….
    You get to have dinner at a table? How do you pull that one off?

    But seriously, I love posts like this, especially since my 2.75 year olds best friend is the boy next door (actually 2 doors down, next door is a lovely lesbian couple), and they’re some kind of nondenominational/Catholic hybrid.

    I’m glad to see that the simple act of playing was able to bridge the gap between the two.

    Comment: blotzphoto – 20. October 2007 @ 9:23 am

  2. Hurray for Delaney! I’m impressed with her ability to be articulate and stand her ground. And to let things go and just play.

    Comment: kathryn – 20. October 2007 @ 10:20 am

  3. Yes — the ability to raise each others’ temperatures like that and then just drop it and play is an unbeatable gift — yet another thing I need to learn from my kids.

    Comment: Dale – 20. October 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  4. Isnt’ it showing that kids, even when they’re told that they ‘have to’ believe in god, don’t take that for granted? After all, Delaney’s friend didn’t just assume that she believed. Instead she asked… Great story, thanks.

    Comment: Lobelia – 23. October 2007 @ 10:28 am

  5. […] Regular readers will recognize this as an almost letter-perfect transcript of a conversation Laney had with another friend last October. […]

    Pingback: The Meming of Life » Where all roads lead (1) Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders – 18. August 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  6. […] We’re in a pretty conservative area here, both religiously and politically, and still (the occasional brief freakout aside) the conversations my kids have had across belief lines have gone really well. I’ve […]

    Pingback: The Meming of Life » Just regular Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders – 30. September 2011 @ 11:13 am

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