SillyBilly: Mama, a lot of people have statues of Jesus and Mary in their yards.
Mama: Yes, sweetie, they do.
SillyBilly: Why do they do that?
Mama: Well, (thinking fast) they love Jesus and Mary and want something to remind them of it, and to make their yards pretty.
SillyBilly: I want a Jesus statue, Mama.
Mama: Why’s that?
SillyBilly: Because I love Jesus so much.
Mama: Why do you love him?
SillyBilly: Because I’m grateful for the food.
Editorial note: I realize that’s 3 or 4 pictures of Jesus and/or Mary on this blog. I’m not Catholic, I’m actually Jewish by birth and not anything formal by practice.
However, Mary and Jesus are an archetype of familial love and I am teaching my children about their story. Just as I tell them about Buddha and the Dalai Lama. Plus religious artwork is beautiful.
I also tell my children about their guardian angels and that they go up to visit heaven every time they sleep. I also tell them that when we die, we go to heaven for a while, and then after a nice rest up there we come back for another life down here.
We say or sing a different grace for each meal and then say “thank you for our meal” afterwards. We are trying to help our children learn about gratitude. Sometimes during the meal we talk about all the people and work involved in producing our food, just as we talk about what plants and animals provide our food. So, that’s probably the source of this conversation.