My son is just the most curious little beast. He thinks outside the box – he has been that way since he was a little tot. Too smart for his own good. Normally I wouldn’t say that because I think saying “Too smart for his own good” is an odd saying . . . I mean, how can anyone be ‘too smart’? But with B. – the reason I say it is because his little brain moves faster than he can keep up with. It’s like he processes ideas and concepts before he understands them – so that leaves him, from his perspective, to spout off about things he doesn’t really understand. Which tends to get him into trouble. A lot of the times he is right – but when asked to explain the concept a bit deeper – that’s where he falls. He is like his father that way – very pretentious in his intelligence, wanting so badly to put himself above the fray of the rest of the foolish members of society – – but no substance to back it up. I have been trying – since he was a lil tot – to get him to understand the concept of ASK IF YOU DON’T KNOW! Don’t just spout off facts of things you have no clue about – – because, inevitably, you will end up sounding utterly stupid.
He got into a little discussion with C. while he was here. It was funny to listen to. I was in my office setting up my new computer system, and they were out in the living room discussing everything from VCR’s to the war in Iraq. I’m paraphrasing here – but listening to them was funny. B. said something to the effect of how C. can’t have an opinion on the American political system because he isn’t even an American, plus – he’s not from a democratic society.
Okay, C. is from the UK. What does that make him, a communist? lol
So they get into this little debate – it didn’t last long (C. won) about how England is a free society, a democratic society and not a communist one. So C. points out the obvious to B. that he shouldn’t make stupid statements like that unless he knows his facts. A better way to get around it is to ask the question, “Is the UK communist? If so – how can you relate to our country?” etc, etc.
B. started feeling bad and told C. “I am not going to talk with you like this anymore, you make me feel stupid”
That’s when I went out there and said “Ok boys – let’s loose the term ‘stupid’ and explain it a different way.” and assured B. that he is definitely NOT stupid – it’s just that he makes himself sound so by spouting off his own set of fabricated ‘facts’ without really knowing what he is talking about. And then C. had to backtrack a little and tell him that he’s not stupid – – he just needs to realize that asking questions is what helps him understand the concepts that interest him and that the only stupid question is an unasked one.
Moving on to present day . . . .
I received a call from one of B’s teachers today – just wanting to inform me that B. had said something in his Social Studies class this morning that has his teacher concerned, and thought that B’s mother should know about it. I was immediately concerned. The last time I got a phone call like this one – the teacher informed me that my son stood with the rest of his class to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of school – – and instead of pledging his allegiance to the flag – – he pledged allegiance to his penis. He was sent to the office and I had to sign a statement saying that I understood the school’s policy on sexual harassment.
So the teacher went on to say that B. made a statement about Santa Claus and God. He said that when he was a kid, he believed in Santa. That belief was based on faith – because he never saw or heard Santa – the proof was in the presents under the tree Christmas morning. You know, the ones marked “From Santa”. That and the fact that the cookies that he and his sister left out for Santa were always eaten. But basically, his belief was based on faith and that everyone around him told him Santa existed. B. says he grew up and found out that Mom was really Santa Claus – and all this time he believed, he was being duped and essentially lied to. Then he asks a question (like I’ve been urging him to – yay for B!). Not really a question, actually – more of a statement. He says, “I suppose I’m going to grow up and find out that God doesn’t exist either – – Because if Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were all a farce based on a kids faith and lies told by adults – – then my belief in God is essentially based upon the same things – so where’s the proof?”
The teacher had no answer. Told B. that he was disrupting her class with off-topic questions and she would be calling home to speak to his mother about this because she is very concerned.
Ok fine – try to take the Pledge of Allegiance out of the schools because it has the word ‘God’ in it – – – but leave a teacher in who calls home because she is concerned over my son’s spirituality and religious convictions? This is a public school – sorry, folks – you can’t have it both ways.
So I told the teacher that I thought it was a valid question. After all, it was social studies – – they were studying the different cultures in East Asia, part of that culture is religion – and B. asked a valid question that was no more inappropriate than her calling my home and telling me that my son was out of line. Then I explained that I, personally, am an atheist and thought that the question was excellent – – one that has been discussed in this household in the not so recent past (actually, I think B. got the idea from C. who made a similar statement while he was here). I also explained that religious education is made available to B. through his grandmother on his father’s side – so he gets exposure to both sides and when he grows older, I am perfectly comfortable that B. will draw his own conclusions about religion and God and that it’s a personal thing, not something a public school teacher calls home about.