I watched the movie “The Help” with my daughter the other night. We’ve seen it before, so we just snuggled in as thought to enjoy old friends. When the movie ended, Madi said that she really likes the movie, but can’t help crying every time she sees the ending. I wiped a tear of my own in agreement.
Different things this week have prompted Madi to express a desperate consternation over why people do mean or bad things. Watching the movie made her ask again, “Why is Hilly so mean?” She wants to understand. I give her all the pat answers—free choice, we are all prideful, people who have been hurt often cause pain, we cannot love out of ourselves. None of these suffice. I suggest maybe Hilly’s mom wasn’t loving, like Baby Girl’s. Madi counters that at least Baby Girl had a loving maid. Didn’t Hilly at least have a loving maid? I don’t know!! I tell her that some people truly don’t grow up with enough love to be able to give it to others.
Finally I tell her that there is a lot in this world to know, and we just can’t know it all. Because of that, we have to choose what we will work to understand, and I frankly prefer she focus on the things that are good and lovely and pleasing to God. While I want her to know that there is evil and people do bad things, I don’t want her to have an intimate understanding of the whys and wherefores. She isn’t pleased with this. She still wants to understand.
We continue to discuss and explore, with her leading. At one point she sighed and said, “Sometimes I just want to skip earth life. Just die and go to heaven.” Oh, how I can relate to that particular sentiment! I think she was surprised by my agreement. I could almost hear her thinking, ‘then what are we waiting for?!’ I quickly said that God will take us when He wants us. If we are still living, there is a reason and we must be ready to serve where God wants us and trust that we will enter heaven in His perfect timing and we can’t presume to know better than He does.
I told her that while we are here, things will be tough sometimes. I actually started crying and just held this precious princess, aching over the pains she will inevitably experience in this life. I want to keep her soft and relatively unblemished. I told her that she will be tempted to get hard, because the hurting is so painful. It is hard to tell your kid to allow herself to be hurt innumerable times.
As she listened, she said that she saw a picture. There was this sweet soft bunny, just perfect for cuddling and snuggling. He was playful, but had no protection against hurt. He didn’t like being hurt, so he crawled into the shell of a turtle. Now he was safe, but no longer able to receive tender cuddling and no one wanted to snuggle him. He was mean and cranky. She concluded with, “I want to be a rabbit.”