The perils of raising your child to be spiritual

One evening last week, I was sitting with a pajama-clad Matthew at the dining room table while he finished his homework.

As he carefully wrote his letters and did his number sheets, I  noticed an ant creeping across the table in front of us.  We get ants periodically, in the wintertime especially.  I did a few index-finger-flicks and on about the third one I made contact, sending the ant neatly out of my line of vision (and, surely, to a premature end).

Matthew, hearing the repeated snap of my finger, looked up from his work.  “What are you doing, Mommy?”

“I saw an ant on the table, so I flicked it away.”

Matthew looked at me over his pencil, blue eyes fixed on mine.  “Why?” he asked in a tone that was a disconcerting blend of sweet kindergarten earnestness and pure teenage attitude.  “It’s part of God’s creation.”

I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t.  He was completely serious.  And, for that matter, he was right.

St. Francis would totally approve.

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