Friday, February 25, 2011

This is what a Catholic education does

Devon has always been a bit of an odd duck, a clever duck, but an odd one for sure. I don’t feel bad saying this; I would totally say it to him. Then we would perhaps proceed to have a long chat about it, maybe drawing him in particular instances of strangeness or even acting out parts of his life –with him as the director, of course. That’s just Devon, several degrees off to the left and marching to his own guitar.

A couple of weeks ago I went to fetch Dev from a play date and ended up chatting with his friend’s mom for a spell. I like this mom quite a bit as she seems equally immersed in the same neurotic struggle with motherhood that I battle everyday. She, I’ll call her K., takes her son and Devon to tap dance lessons every Friday and then the boys often have a good long play afterwards at her house while I finish up work. K. always has a fun story or two to share, and this most recent will rank among one of my all time favorite Devon stories.

Right now Devon and his friends have reached that age where video games are new and exciting, they reign king among the 6 year-old set. I personally loathe video games and regret the day I introduced Devon to his Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, at the time we were spending hours on end with Matt in his hospital room, and in a desperate attempt to keep Devon from tripping over somebody’s oxygen tubes, I broke down and bought him the game. When I’m not banning him from it, Devon is glued to the damn thing.

K. has yet to buy her young son a Nintendo and so Devon always makes sure to bring the contraption to the play dates. K. also hates video games, Devon knows this and so has tried to sway her to realize her son’s dreams and get him a “Tendo. When I picked up Dev, K. said to me, “I didn’t know that Nintendo made religious themed games. Devon told me he has a game called ‘Jesus Lives!’.” This was news to me and I told her, “Um, no. Mario? Yes. Sonic? Yup. But, no, no Jesus here.” And then she began to tell me the tale.

The boys attend a Catholic school and are in Kindergarten together. K. is able to volunteer in the classroom and so she had a clue as to where Devon got the info. It seems he incorporated the week’s religious classes into his game and then he tried to sell her on it. We laughed, both of us either fallen or half-assed Catholics at this point; neither of us upset about the fact my son had told a bald faced lie in order to help his friend attain the game. At least it was a creative lie.

On the way home I asked Devon about it, he grinned a sly smile and said, “Well, it’s like this, Mai-Mai. The first level there’s Jesus, and he’s going around a field getting all these different sized crosses. He has to get enough until he can stack them up high and then rise to Heaven….” There was the second level, that one was about Egypt and the death of firstborn sons. If you saved the babies then you got to the third level where Michael the Archangel cut down all evil with his magic sword. The fourth level involved a plague of sorts. The fifth was about avoiding lightening bolts of sin. There was a sixth that I can’t remember and then the seventh level was all about giving a son anything he wanted because he had accomplished so many good deeds. I’m not sure if the seven levels somehow coordinated with the seven days of God’s earth works or if it was just a handy coincidence.

Being his mother I felt as though I had to impress some sort of lesson here and so we discussed the differences of tall tales, exaggeration and outright lies. He maintained his was all in good fun and even for the better of the good as far as his friend was concerned. And me? I was just so damn impressed by his creativity that I had to agree.

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