Aptly-timed with Easter fast approaching, Jesus has been a hot topic for the dink lately. One thing I love about his daycare is that it's run by a church, so Jesus-themed arts and crafts and weekly jam sessions with the "chapel ladies" are institutions. Since singing and dancing are probably the dink's favorite two activities (he is his father's son after all), it's no surprise that he can recite all the words to Jesus Loves Me, and that he can't hear me sing He's Got the Whole World in His Hands without performing the requisite hand motions. But at this age, I can only imagine that Jesus to him has similar meaning to Elmo and Handy Manny--other beloved characters in his life that he's never met outside of books, play figures, and tv.
What has always amazed me is how the dink accepts, and expects, to see these figures at any given moment, in any given setting. Elmo could literally show up on food items at the grocery store, on stickers at the doctor's office, on his shoes, his socks, his diapers, his lunch bag...I'm certainly not saying that the dink has so many Elmo-themed items, but that it's reasonable for him to see Elmo anywhere. And so it is with Handy Manny, and with Jesus. I was playing videos of garbage trucks on YouTube for him recently when one of the truck drivers had a beard and mustache. The dink starting whining "Jeee-sus...Mommy, see Jeee-sus" in the same exact tone of voice he uses when asking me for fruit snacks. I had to scurry to find a Jesus-themed children's video as fast as possible. Another time, he got away with making me agree to "one more book" before bedtime because he picked up The Easter Story and begged me to "Read Jesus, Mommy." At least that time the character was in the right setting.
The dink's "friends" are big characters in his life as well. That's how they refer to all of the other children at daycare. He's been reciting "Be nice to your friends" for quite awhile, but has recently upgraded that instruction to "It's not nice to make your friends sad." I'm not sure how the Jesus character fits into these lessons at school, but I'm thinking I need to find a bridge. I had a college roommate who loved to contribute to conversations with "something (can't remember) and lies make the baby Jesus cry." I think I'll hold off on that one, though, and perhaps try praying instead that maybe, just maybe, Jesus will come to life this Easter in places that none of his character friends have yet to transcend.