A few months ago I bought James a package of pocket-sized cards that depict a variety of monumental religious events. You know--Moses parting the Red Sea, Noah petting an elephant, Paul falling off of his horse--the works.
When I bought the cards, I was hoping they'd keep James silent and reverent during the quiet parts of church. Also, little religious cards throw out a much better image than, I don't know, a smoking cap gun...or a talking Jay Jay the Jet Plane book...or half a pound of deli meat. I know this first hand, as each one of those items has fallen out of James's backpack and onto the pew at one time or another.
Please take a moment and try to imagine my embarrassment when I had to forcibly wrestle a package of thinnly sliced honey ham from my three-year-old's hands during the opening prayer.
But yesterday morning, my plan went off without a hitch. James sat quietly, sifting through his card collection, occasionally pausing to tap me on the shoulder and excitedly whisper his own pictorial description into my ear--"Mom. Yook. It's Cheeeesus. He es usin' a coupon ta save some money."
Close enough, James. Close enough.
When James eventually came to a picture of the crucifixion, his eyes widened, his mouth fell into a frown, and with a great measure of concern in his voice, James said, "Dis is twoubo (trouble). Der is a yot of twoubo in dis one, Mom. Twoubo."
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the middle-aged woman behind me place her hand over her heart and slowly shake her head back and forth as if to say, "Wow. What a sweet, sweet child. He must have an excellent mother."
Then, James put his cards down on the pew, turned around to face the congregation, and clearly said, "Someday, when I am maweed (married) I well be in twoubo aw of de time. A yot of twoubo."
Not surprisingly, the middle-aged woman behind us though that line was even cuter than the first.