While I was walking with my son we happened upon a cemetery. I explained that when people die, they are buried under the ground. He wanted to know who was buried under each of several headstones, and I read the names and dates. Then he found a few that were so old the names had worn off. He proceeded to make up names and stories, “This was Dan, he was a bully,” and so on.
We found the graves of two babies (one just a day old when he died), and he announced that he wanted to pray for them. Naturally, of course, this made me feel quite good. I must be doing something right as a parent to inspire so noble a sentiment in my child, right?
Anyhow, he stood over the graves with his hands folded for a few seconds. Then he said, “I wish we had something to dig all these people up so that we could hug them and take them home.”
I told him that we wouldn’t want to do that, the people in there wouldn’t look too nice. He asked, “What do they look like?”
I said, “Remember when we talked about skeletons? They’d look like that.”
“Oh,” he said. “Now I wish I hadn’t prayed for them. Because they’re going to come back like this–” he proceeded to stick his arms out like a zombie and walk with his legs stiff. Then he moaned, “Mommy! Mooommmy!”