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three year olds and eastern religion

"when i die...." he said from his car seat in the minivan. i don't think i've ever heard a child, especially my child start a sentence that way. it took my breath away. how does a kid even know about dying? and why is he talking about it right now?

we were driving south on route 222 in pennsylvania, through the epitome of rural america. we passed farm after farm, separated only by open space and the occasional store. jack had grown bored with the movie he was watching on the screen in the car, and had asked us to turn it off. so we did. he proceeded looking out the window and alerting us everytime he saw a barn. we didn't see any animals, however, presumably because it was so cold, and this seemed to trouble him as he kept asking about the animals.

"where are all the animals?" we asked repeatedly.
"they are probably inside the barn staying warm," we replied repeatedly.
then, breaking the pattern, he says, "when i die, i'm going to be a chicken." shannon and i looked at each other with a shared look that i cannot adequately describe. i was the first to answer.
"did you say, 'when you die you are going to be a chicken?'"
"where did you learn that?"
"in this car. i am telling you a story."
shannon inquired, "what am i going to be when i die?"
jack answers, with conviction, "a cow. and daddy will be a cow, too. you will be married. but not me. i'll be a chicken. not a married chicken. just a chicken. the end."

so, our son believes in reincarnation. i don't know what he's been reading online, or what spiritual mentors he's had, but he seems pretty steadfast in this idea that after death comes chickenhood. he's never even really talked about chickens before, so its not like this is a recurring theme. i cannot be anything but overwhelmingly amazed at that brain of his and the mystery of what goes on in there.

i share this story for no other reason than i think its pretty funny. kids say the darndest things, you know? i thought it might make you laugh, too. i hope we are all as sure of our post-death manifestation as my son is.

here are a few pictures from our trip, starting with my collage display:

here is jack and i at the pool. please forgive my ridiculous eyebrows. they have a life of their own. it is a milinovich thing. dang genes.

here is cade relaxing poolside.

and here is jack at our lunch stop on the way home. home of the best chicken sandwich around.

have a great weekend friends. i'll be on a junior high retreat with 50 (yes, 50) sixth, seventh and eighth graders. pray for me.


Anonymous said…
Well....I'd rather be a chicken than a married cow, that's for sure.


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