What if it happened differently ….?

So Connor and I are chatting in the car this morning on the way to school (holiday programme).  I was telling him how he shares a birthday with a friend of Georgia’s.

I explained that they did not share a birth day, but they shared a date of birth and what the difference is.  He is 8, the friend is turning 5 this year.

I commented that every day a baby is born and isn’t that a lovely thing to think about, to which he replied that every day someone also dies… true … maybe not quite something you want your eight year old to be thinking about too hard, but there we go, can’t argue with the ying and yang of that argument.

Then Connor asks all bright eyed and innocently: ” If Adam and Eve were the first people here, how come there are caveman bones – were they cavemen, because I don’t think they were?”  (got to love a child whose brain just runs in seven directions at once.)

I asked Connor to consider that what if the bible story is well, just a story, and maybe what is important is the message that the story is telling us.  Maybe to consider that as an option here.

I also said that it is always good to ask questions about something, no matter how convincing and accepted the original story is.  Think about the other evidence you are presented with, and think about how that story aligns with the evidence or the other facts that you now know.

I asked Connor: “If the bible tells you that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, and you see evidence that there were cavemen that existed – and for all purposes Adam and Eve were not caveman what does that make you think?”

Connor sat there and thought about it, and said: “But they found spears in old dinosaur remains, so there must have been people before Adam and Eve.”

Me: “Sure, there could have been.  So do you think that maybe the bible story was just a story to try to tell you a message, and maybe the evidence shows that in reality something else happened?  What do you think about that?”

Connor: “I think there were cavemen before Adam and Eve…”

Me: “I am glad you question things and don’t accept what people tell you.  Try and always remember that what people tell you are their opinions, and even a story that is told to you over and over again, does not make it a fact.  There is nothing wrong with looking at something and thinking about it differently.”

Connor just smiling his toothy smile.

Me: “I really am proud of you that you can listen to a story and then think that maybe there are the other possibilities. I am not saying that when someone tells you something you should think they are lying or telling you an untruth – but try to always think for yourself ‘what if this happened’ or ‘consider that this other option might be right.’

It is people like you that go on to discover things, because you think about the why and the how.  Keep asking questions … don’t just accept it because people say it must be so because that it the way it has always been.”

I was so dead proud of that boy this morning for having such a quick enquiring mind.

Connor questions things – all the time – often I do tell him just to be quiet and things are just the way they are.  I challenge any parent to be in the mood to answer soul-searching questions twenty-four/seven – some times you do want to say “Just shut-up and go and watch television, and leave me to my wine, why don’t you!!”

He loves Discovery and Animal Planet and soaks that information up like a sponge.  He can recall facts and incidents of shows he watched a year ago, which beats the snot out of watching hours of the Cartoon Channel, much to Georgia’s unhappiness.

What made me proud today is that he questioned something that must be such an ingrained story in his mind, but still he had the open mindedness to just question it.

Sure we are skirting around the discussion of creation versus evolution … and I realise we risk being burnt at a stake on our front yard at the very least … but there we go, the risks we take for our children.

Leave a comment


  1. julz

     /  July 5, 2010

    Really impressive Connor. Obvioulsy mom and dad think out of the box too.

  2. Elisabeth

     /  July 1, 2010

    He sounds like a very bright little boy!

  3. You handled this brilliantly – well done. I’ll come and put out the fires OK.

  4. Wow he seems like an amazing boy! I know what it is like to be the kid that asks those kinds of questions and not getting the kind of answers you gave. Well done for nurturing his spirit like that it’s awesome!

  5. Hilary

     /  July 1, 2010

    Just what I though MA@40. Hope I’ll be able to handle things this well when my time comes. Good grief I can only imagine the questions. You have a real heartbreaker there Celeste.

  6. LOve the way you are handling the tough questions! I’ll have to bookmark this!


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