It is one of many little gems I've stumbled onto and tucked away for a rainy day (though we all know it actually never rains in Iquique!) The list entitled "100 Questions to Ask Your Kids" presents itself in the format of a non-threatening game which allows for introspection, uninterrupted answers, optional participation - and at least in our family's case - a lot of silliness and laughter! In the midst of stressful days, lighthearted moments are worth recording and tonight was one of those times.
Our first question was simple: If you could tell me never to serve two vegetables again, which two would choose? It was followed by: Are you afraid when we fly? And then: What was your favorite toy when you were little? Regarding the latter, the boys were intrigued by Daddy's description of his 1980's Stompers Rough Riders vehicles that could survive any terrain. And perhaps even more so, by the 1970's unnamed car whose gas tank absorbed drops of water and somehow miraculously drove on the power of H2O! Our second-to-last question received a unanimous "yes" response: Do you think it's important to get physical education in school? Why or why not? Isabel felt the need to clarify, "Especially in the United States where there is a McDonald's on every corner!" (Perhaps because we have only one McDonald's for about 200,000 people in Iquique!)
But it was the final inquiry which elicited the most unusual responses.
"If you could trade places with somebody you know, who would it be?"
Isabel quickly determined she'd like to change places with her new acquaintance Melissa Heiland because "she gets to travel all over the world!" Eva mentioned an author she reads who "rode her first horse at three years old, and has had horses her entire life." Owen said Tony Hawke, because he knows a lot of cool skateboarding tricks. (Sadly, his answer was likely influenced by his disappointment at having his own skateboard stolen at our neighborhood park just an hour before.) Ian made everyone laugh when he announced the star of a favorite family show as his pick. Ian loves cars and it turned out he wanted to change places to access the fast and fancy vehicles the actor drives onscreen!
Alec's answer, however, was truly unique. He wanted to change places with "Meemie," his great-grandmother who died five years ago, so that he could see God and Heaven and everything she gets to see. When a sibling argued that he had to choose someone living, he continued down a similar line of reasoning. "Then I want to change places with someone about to die," he insisted, so that he could still get the chance to see what he wanted to see!
As morbid as it might possibly sound to someone who doesn't witness this child's mind at work daily, to me Alec's desire was pure and sweet and true. The apostle Paul himself wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain ... I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far ..." (Philippians 1:21,23 NIV) After all, shouldn't every Christian want to be where Jesus is? In fact, that might make a great Question #101.