My four year old asks the tough Christmastime questions, like who knows more, Santa, God or Siri?
My kids will do anything to avoid going to sleep. One of my son’s favorite tactics is to engage me in shockingly deep, philosophical discussions, which usually lead to a series of questions that stump me in a matter of minutes. Yes, I am regularly outsmarted by a four year old, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Well, last night was no exception. This conversation delved into topics of religion, omniscience and absolute power, and 10 years of Catholic Sunday school weren’t enough to provide the answers. Here’s an excerpt:
The Boy: Daddy, does God live in the clouds?
The Dad: You mean, Heaven? Is Heaven up in the clouds? Um, yeah, I guess that’s a good enough explanation for a four year old.
The Boy: Is that different from where Santa lives?
The Dad: Yes. Santa lives up at the North Pole.
The Boy: That’s not Heaven?
The Dad: No, the North Pole is where Santa and the elves have their top-secret workshop where they spend all year long making super-awesome toys.
The Boy: And that’s not Heaven?
The Dad: You make a good point, but no.
The Boy: Does God makes toys?
The Dad: Well, he doesn’t need to, because the elves do all the toy making.
The Boy: So what does God make?
The Dad: A lot of other stuff, miracles and such.
The Boy: Did he make the elves? Or was that Santa?
The Dad: Um, I guess you could say that the elves’ parents made them.
The Boy: Who made the elves’ parents?
The Dad: Their parents, and their parents made them, and it goes on like that for a while.
The Boy: Who made me?
The Dad: Your mother and me, and a pitcher of margaritas.
The Boy: So is God magic?
The Dad: Well, I don’t know if they ever use the term “magic,” but he’s very powerful. He can do lots of stuff that’s hard to explain.
The Boy: Like magic?
The Dad: Okay, sure.
The Boy: Does he have more magic than Elf on the Shelf.
The Dad: Definitely.
The Boy: Does he have more magic than Santa?
The Dad: Oh, yes.
The Boy: Does he see me when I’m sleeping, like Santa?
The Dad: Yes. He can see you. In fact, God knows everything.
The Boy: Oh, like Siri?
The Dad: Well, sort of. He knows more than Siri.
The Boy: But I thought you told me that Siri knows everything.
The Dad: She does, sort of, but she’s really just a computer program that’s really good at looking things up on the Internet.
The Boy: I thought you said she was a magic lady that lived in your phone.
The Dad: Um, yes, okay, I may have been oversimplifying.
The Boy: So God is better than Siri at looking things up on the Internet.
The Dad: Well, God doesn’t need the Internet. He just knows.
The Boy: Because he made the Internet?
The Dad: No, Al Gore made the Internet, or so he claims.
The Boy: So who made God? Did he make himself?
The Dad: Listen, kid, you’re four. This is getting too deep for a Wednesday night. Go to sleep.
The Boy: [Lies there for a moment blinking]
So you don’t know.
The Dad: No, I, um, it’s just more complicated.
The Boy: [Lies there for another moment]
The Dad: Yes?
The Boy: If you don’t know, why don’t you ask Siri?
The Dad: Go to sleep.