Mikey resumed his questions. “Mama? Let’s talk about the Big Bang that my magazine was talking about.”
“Well the Big Bang is how scientists think the universe began, but it hasn‘t been proved, so they still call it a theory."
I tried my best to explain this theory to Mikey without dumbing it down too much. He seemed to grasp difficult and abstract concepts, and he had developed a rather large vocabulary. We had talked about force vectors when we had discussed black holes at length on another occasion. He also understood how gravity was related to the mass of an object. Mikey always made me laugh when he vacillated between asking highly intelligent questions and then reverted to the typical questions of a six-year-old.
“How big was the bang?” he wanted to know. “Could you hear it?”
I laughed, “Gee, I’m not quite that old, Mikey. That was millions of years ago. I’m sure it made a loud noise, but there were not any people alive to hear it at the time. People were put on earth after it was created.”
“By God?” he asked.
“And what about Jesus?”
“Well, Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God. We are Christians. We believe there was a man named Jesus who lived on earth who was actually God‘s son. God put him here to tell people about God‘s existence and the existence of heaven. And he told people God wanted them to be nice to each other and believe in God.”
“Then why did they hang Jesus?” he asked.
I stifled a chuckle. “They didn’t hang him. They nailed him to a cross. Hanging probably would have hurt less. They crucified him because they didn‘t believe him and they thought he was preaching against their king.”
Mikey pondered this. “If I was Jesus, I would come back and haunt those people who were mean to him.”
“One of God’s messages that Jesus was trying to convey was the importance of forgiveness. Jesus forgave people who were mean to him,” I explained.
Again, he pursed his lips, deep in thought. “I’m going to come back and haunt the kids who are mean to me.”
“Mikey, I think you’ll be so busy looking in the black holes that you won’t care anymore about the kids who were mean. You’ll forgive them just like Jesus did.”
He giggled. “I’ll come back and haunt you guys and play tricks on you. I’ll turn the lights out on you…when you’re in the bathroom.” Mikey erupted into more giggles at the thought of this.
His sister Susie objected, “No, Mikey! I’m already half blind without my glasses. Don‘t turn the lights out on me!”
“Okay,” he obliged. “I’ll just turn them off for a second and then turn them right back on. I’ll make spooky noises, and you won’t know where they’re coming from.”Mikey was laughing harder.
“No, Mikey!” Susie’s ire was raising over this hypothetical preposterousness. “You have to promise you won’t scare me!”
“Okay, okay. I’ll just make funny noises, and I’ll turn the lights off and on really fast.”Now he was laughing hysterically.
“Okay,” Susie settled back down. “Just so long as you promise not to scare me.”
“I promise,” he assured her. “But I promise I’m going to come back and visit you guys after I die. And you’ll know it’s me! It’ll be so funny!“
Kids say the darnedest things.