The Ten Commandments…with the Coolest, Baddest Moses in cinematic history.
“What’s adultery?” That’s the million chocolate chip cookie question my child asked (very loudly) one nite during Family Home Evening. We were listening to Big Son give a lesson on “The Ten Commandments.” And one of them is (just in case you forgot) – Thou shalt not commit adultery. So how do you explain the finer details of ‘adultery’ to a 7yr old that hasn’t heard that beautiful ‘birds and bees’ talk yet? A 7yr old who still thinks that babies happen when “A mum and a dad love each other sooo much that God sends them the bestest present in the world – a baby like you!” Just like fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs on Easter! And Santa stockings exploding with magical fun! Joy joy joy…yes, having a baby is just like that. Not.
The 7yr old was waiting for answers. Expectant and trusting. Because of course, we her parents are the fountains of all wisdom and knowledge. (Seeing as how she hasn’t discovered Google yet.)
I looked at the Hot Man. Which was a waste of time because everyone knows that HE never tackles the earth-shattering stuff in this parenting duo. No, I always get stuck with the questions about periods, facial hair, hormones, sex, condoms, STD’s, what does ‘homosexual’ mean?, girlfriends, love, and ‘what should I do if a girl likes me but I don’t like her?’ The Hot Man shrugged his shoulders and gave me that look that said, ‘Answer her! She’s your child. This is what happens when you raise these kids to think they can ask us about everything. This is your fault!‘ No, I was on my own in this adulterous conversation.
I fumbled and stumbled but in a nutshell, I think this is what I said: “Getting married and having a family is very important to God. A mum and a dad need to love each other very much and always be nice. A dad should always make the mum first in everything. He should only ever ummm, hug and kiss the mum – no other girls anywhere. And same for the mum. She should only love the dad and hug and kiss him all the time.”
The child looked puzzled. “But you can hug and kiss me, can’t you?”
“Of course. We can always hug and kiss our children. But very special Big People hugs and kisses and…umm, other stuff, mums and dads have to save for each other, nobody else.”
I was getting a headache trying to navigate these muddy waters of Biblical definitions. And I was wishing that I had just given her the easy, cop-out answer: ‘You’re too little to understand adultery. When you grow big,I’ll tell you what it means.Now go eat a cookie.‘
But the lights came on in the 7yr old’s inquisitive brain. “Aaah, I see!”
Whew, what a relief. “You do?”
“Yes.” She turned to her father. “Whenever you go somewhere and if you see another lady and you feel like kissing her – then you have to run home really fast and kiss mum. Then you won’t commit adultery.Okay?”
Her father nodded. What else could he do?
As further affirmation that yes, she had understood the evenings lesson, the 7yr old offered to say the closing prayer and included this very important request: ‘Please Heavenly Father, bless my dad so that he will never commit adultery but always remember to run home and kiss mum. Amen.’
Amen, indeed. I was quite pleased with myself and my amazing teaching skills. My ability to dispense spiritual nuggets of deep learning to my child. Damn, I’m clever.
Except the Hot Man was a bit disgruntled. “How come she only prayed for ME not to commit adultery, huh?!”
I smiled sweetly. “Darling, children are more spiritually in tune than we are and know what we need. Now, you just remember, next time you see anyone vaguely attractive – you have to run home and kiss me right away.”
Ha. Damn, I’m clever!
Charlton Heston made Moses hot. Now remember, if you see anyone vaguely attractive, you have to run home and kiss your partner right away.