Yesterday after dealing with the aftermath of Emma's marker mural, I decided to calm myself down with a non fat, no whip Mocha from Starbucks. (Hey, it beats buying crack on the corner.) I picked Jenna up from school and we headed straight to Starbucks. On the way, I told Jenna that we were going to church later.
"I don't want to go to church!"
"But we have to go so you can learn about God and Jesus."
"I already know all about God and Jesus."
I was impressed. At 6 years of age Jenna has achieved what most theologists have strived for their entire lives. "Okay," I said. "Tell me about Jesus."
Jenna seemed disgusted at the pop quiz but explained, "Mary didn't want Jesus so she put him in a basket and floated him in a river and a princess found him. He grew living with the princess."
After giving myself a mental head slap, I questioned which was worse-- The Gospel according to Jenna or when Jenna came running up to me after Sunday school last spring very excited that she had discovered that she could pray anytime, not just at dinner and bedtime. (My friend Heather, Jenna's Sunday school teacher at the time, still won't let me forget that one.)
"Actually," I said gently so that I wouldn't upset her, "that was Moses."
"Oh, yeah." She seemed puzzled that she had got that one wrong. I decided to try again.
"So tell me about Jesus."
After thinking for a moment, Jenna said, "Jesus had to travel to a city really far away because people could be counted, I can't remember what it's called..."
"A census?" I volunteered.
"Yeah, he had to travel on a donkey to a census."
Great. I had failed my daughter's Christian education, yet ever the cock-eyed optimist, and just like when Jesus asked Peter who he was 3 times, I tried for the third time to see if Jenna knew about Jesus.
"But what about Jesus and the cross?"
"Oh yeah... Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins so we can go to heaven."
So I wasn't a total bum. Thank goodness.
"But I still don't want to go to church." She added.
How could I make my daughter go to church and want to be there? I pondered this as we waited in the Starbucks drive through lane.
"They're having fried chicken for dinner." I told her.
"What kind is that?"
"You know, crispy chicken on the bone."
Her entire attitude changed. "I love that kind of chicken. I want to go to church."
That's my girl.