“Miss Grace,” she asks gravely, with the air of bestowing a great confidence, “Do you know what I do when I have something in my nose?”
“What?” I ask, practicing my best Vegas poker face.
“I take it out.”
“Do you know what it is?” she asks.
She whispers this time: “I will tell you later.” And with that she bounces off to join the other three- and four-year-olds learning about the secrets of the Kingdom of God.
About forty five minutes later, when class has ended, I hear a small high-pitched voice through the window yelling, “Boooooger!”
Since it is sacrament season, the religious ed version of tax season for accountants, I’ve decided to let the little ones do the heavy lifting on this blog post, as I share with you some more of their tiny treasures.
In First Grade, we begin with the story of Genesis and the basics of creation: God made me.
One student, however, took this very much to heart and told her teacher soberly: “Please don’t tell any of this to my mother. She thinks she made me!”
As the year goes on, we move onto bigger issues of faith. One teacher was talking to his class about the importance of faith, in particular, faith in the Eucharist.
One eager six-year-old raised his hand enthusiastically: “I know all about the Eucharist! It helped me and my mom when I was born.”
“Oh?” said the teacher, quizzically.
“Yes!” he continued, “The Eucharist helped me when I was coming out of my mom. ” Then he turned to the aide assisting the class. “You’re a lady—you know…!”
She looked a little confused but nodded politely.
Then: “Oh wait, sorry…I meant uterus…!”
In Second Grade, preparation for Penance includes the Story of the Prodigal Son. One teacher began reviewing the basics:
Teacher: Who was happy when the Prodigal Son came home?
Student #1: The Father!
Teacher: Yes! Who was NOT happy when the Prodigal Son came back?
Student #2: Um…the fatted calf?
My first time ever attempting to teach religious ed was to a class of Third Graders who were slated to learn about Pentecost. Taking my cue from the teacher’s manual, I told them the story of Pentecost and the tongues of fire that settled on each of the apostles, and then asked, “Now why might fire be a good symbol for the Holy Spirit?”
The class stared at me blankly. Suddenly one boy’s face lit up as the light bulb went on over his head: “Oh! So that’s why priests and monks are bald in the middle of their heads!”
My little seven-year-old friend Teresa is planning her marriage to her school friend John. One day she came home and confided to her mother, “Mom, I think boys and girls have different kinds of brains. I want to talk to John about our future wedding plans, and all he wants to talk about is cars!”
(Is it a coincidence that just a few weeks later on her First Communion, she declared: “My greatest wish is that Jesus will let me be a nun!”)
The following is a First Communion poem composed by my niece Lollipop, and laminated into placemats as party favors for her big day:
And the last treasure I have to share is not a quote but a person.
His name is Ignatius, and he is Lollipop’s cousin. (Possibly more, since she announced to her entire First Communion party that since he was adopted, they could in fact marry each other, to which he responded with great enthusiasm)!
Ignatius was born without a cerebellum (which controls fine and gross motor skills and speech). He was not born however without joy or humor or love for life, and he has been a great gift to his family. However, as he grows bigger, it becomes more and more difficult for his mother to carry him around, and so the family very much needs a wheelchair accessible van. So, he’s been entered into a contest here:
It’s one of those “vote every day and whoever gets the most votes wins.” So I am exploiting my loyal blog audience and appealing to your generous hearts to go and vote for him! You can answer a trivia question to have your vote count twice. Voting ends May 31st and you can vote each day for him.
You can find out more about him on the Ignatius Ehlinger Fund Inc. Facebook page.
If you have a moment to head on over and vote, he would much appreciate it!
For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly’s page at This Aint The Lyceum.
For more kid stuff see: