May 6, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

          The sun warmed my back as I sat outside devouring the latest issue of MotherEarth News.  The chatter of grandkids at play completed the moment like the soothing babble of a nearby mountain stream. My little trio scrambled up and down the rock retaining walls, and who knows what awesome adventures were forming in those creative little minds... ??  I'm pretty sure I overheard the words “castle” and “princess” in there somewhere.  Every few seconds I glanced up to make sure the Little Prince wasn’t roaming too far from the mote as all three cooperated to conquer the challenges and foes of their imaginary world. 
          My bliss was shattered by the sudden, terrified shrieks of Ava and Audrey as they ran hurtling to safety from the garden spot just up the hill. It wasn’t difficult to figure out that they'd probably gotten a little too personal with some unidentified little member of God’s creation.  
          Their words tumbled all over each other as they tried to describe the horrible monsters they had just seen… “One was black and one yellow!”... “We almost stepped on them!” … “I don’t know if they saw us or not!”  Then Ava crinkled her nose and dared to name the villains; to breathe their name....  “Ssssssssssnakes!  Two of them!”  She did a full-body shudder and flicked her hands as if to shake off the filthy thought.  I squelched the giggle that threatened to give me away.
           Audrey gasped in horror, “Gramma, we had to run from sinTAtions!!”  Her lisping little tongue barely navigated her newly concocted word, and her eyes were as big as her face. 
        “She means TEMP-tation,” Ava informed me as she caught her breath and tried to compose herself.  “Yes!,” Audrey shrieked again, "thinTAYshunth!” Ava corrected her once more and then turned to make sure I was still tracking. “Ummmm… you know, Gramma, " she confided matter-of-factly, ‘because the devil sometimes disguises himself as a snake.”
        “An’….. an’… and,”  Audrey stammered as she punctuated her next deluge of words with ultra-dramatic animation, “that WOMAN touched that APPLE!  And it was ‘cuz of that THNAKE, and now we had to RUN from thinTAYshunth!” 
         Believe me….  I really tried to restrain myself, but that last little demonstration just put me over the top!  As I gave in to the uncontrollable roars of laughter, it was obvious the girls were quite offended at my insensitivity.  After all, as far as they were concerned they had just about stepped on the devil himself!  
        Oh, sure… they’ve got a few little bible details to iron out as their spiritual understanding grows, but who could plan a better object lesson than that.  I'm pretty sure they'll remember the moral of the story for a long time coming, or at least I will.  Come to think of it, Audrey’s little ism kind of sums it up pretty well after all.  Run away from those nasty old temptations... or should I say... sintations.
         Out of the mouths of babes.   ; )

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