Early Morning Religious Discussion

This morning, while driving to school, Riley randomly said, “Mommy, when you die, if you love God, you’ll go to heaven.”
I almost spit out my coffee.
“What?” I asked.
He replied, “God will make you die and if you love him you will go to heaven.”
“Who told you that?” I asked. He replied that his teacher did. Yes, he goes to a Christian K3 program and yes, there have been other subtle religious references that have come out of our 4-year old’s mouth, but this one really caught me off guard.
I decided to ask a few questions, so I started with “What’s heaven?”
He told me that’s where you go when you die as long as you love God.
I told him that heaven is the most happy perfect place and yes, you go there if you love God, but you also have to be a really nice, kind, and good person and then you can go to heaven when you die. I told him that he’s the nicest, sweetest, best boy ever so he’ll get to go to heaven.
Somewhere in there, he connected the dots and said, “but I don’t want to die.” OH BOY.
“I know honey, but everyone dies, but you don’t need to worry about that. It’s not going to happen for a long, long, long, long, looooooooong time,” I said. Feeling like jumping out of the moving car.
“It’s not going to happen for a million years,” I said. All the parenting experts out there are cringing right now, I know.
“I’m going to tell God that I love him but I need to stay in my house,” Riley replied.
“That sounds like the best idea ever,” I told him.
Then I heard him whispering in the backseat, so I turned off the radio so I could hear what he was saying.
Very quietly and sweetly he explained, “Dear God, I love you, but I need to stay at my house.”
When he finished I said, “Did that work?”
“Yep!” He replied and we happily went to school. Is 9 a.m. too early for a beer? Yeesh.

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