During lunch, Pastor D brought up Greek mythology. Well, you could say the comically-large book M had propped up on the table while he waited for the meal actually brought up the topic, but Pastor D put it into words.
D: You like gods, huh? Which one do you like best?
M began highlighting the merits of the various gods he was reading about, unwilling to pick just one. But it didn't matter, because Pastor D was "going somewhere" with this.
Pastor D: I know the most powerful of all gods. Do you want to know him?
Pastor D: He created the world.
M: Are you talking about mother Gaia? She...
Pastor D: Before that.
M: Do you mean the Titans? Kronos is...
Pastor D: This God is greater than all others. He's real. He knows you. And he died for you. His name is Jeshua. [dramatic pause...] Jesus.
M: Pppfft!! We were talking about Greek mythology!
M is absolutely authenic. Though that lesson would have hit me just as it was meant, leaving me properly shamed for failing to think of the "right" Christian answer, it would never occur to him to be embarrassed.
I love Pastor D, so I don't hold it against him. But some people don't know what to say when they get around kids, so they default to weird roles. Like mentor of spiritual matters instead of just Uncle D.
This was a (thankfully uncharacteristic) flimsy attempt to shame him for having intense interests outside of those directly related to the church. But M brushed it away without a second thought.
I learn so much from him. I'm practing my "Pppfft!" for the next time someone tries to pull something like that on me.
Interestingly, after that exchange, the conversation shifted. Less "listen to me" and more "let's talk."
At another point in the meal, Pastor D told M that if he asked him, God will give him visions and dreams. Like a secret message to figure out.
M answered that he loves secret messages, and that he and his brother are learning to use morse code.
Pastor D countered that this kind of code is even more special than morse code, but M wasn't convinced. So Pastor D challenged him to keep a journal near his bed and write down the messages that God reveals to him. M's answer? I'll write them... in Morse code.
Once again, he felt no pressure to say anything outside the truth of his experience. I love that.
In chatting with his wife R, I was reminded that parenting is about the future, not the present. M's personality makes it very hard to be six. But those same traits will serve him well as an adult, and it would be foolish to squelch or suppress them in an attempt to make him a more "normal" kindergartner.