Thursday, January 21, 2010


Last night, I hung out with the elementary kids at church. They have a group that meets every Wednesday night, and last night the big topic was, "Stump the Pastor." They've been coming up with questions for several weeks - questions which, they informed me at dinner, were SUPER EXTRA TOTALLY HARD AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KNOW THEM. "Bring it on," I said to a fifth-grader, who snapped her fingers in response and replied, "it's been brung."


Anyway, about half the questions were in the Random Biblical Trivia category, and I got most of those right. Not all of them: I do not know "what page Adam and Eve are on," and also, I cannot recite the books of the Bible backward. (I don't even think I can recite them forward, to be honest.)

Another set of questions could be categorized as, "random stuff we are going to ask her because there is no freaking way she could possibly know the answer." My favorite question in this category: "what are seeds made of?" This was followed by a very long silence on my part. I was, indeed, stumped.

And then there were the "get to know the pastor" questions, including, "What is your house like?" and, "do you have a dog?" and, "where did you grow up?"

Before I tell you the rest of that story, let me interrupt to say that one of the girls in this program, who is about seven years old, is the kind of kid who is preternaturally smart in some ways - who thinks at a much deeper level than most of her peers - but who also has absolutely no sense of personal boundaries. None. Zip. Nada. Here's an example: when we had finished all the written questions and it was time for a sort of question-free-for-all, she marched up to my face, pointed at the mole right below my left eyebrow, and asked very loudly, "What is THAT?"

Again: awesome.

So. One of the pre-written questions in the "get to know the pastor" category was, of course, "do you have a baby?" "No," I said. I looked at the mom asking the pre-written questions, who was ready to move on to the next one - except for our Smart But Boundary-less Friend, who asked in a voice as if she could not believe how unbelievably foolish I was to have waited this long because my biological clock is ticking like a time bomb, "well, when are you going to get pregnant?" I smiled and said, "I think we should move to the next question," and our little friend said again, in a voice every bit as impatient as every nosy adult who tortures the infertile for fun, "no, really! WHEN?"

I am telling you this story for three simple reasons:
1. Because you should be forewarned that questions about how you'd better hurry up and have a baby can come from unexpected quarters;
2. Because you can never escape such questions, no matter how hard you try;
and, most importantly,
3. Because I would like some credit for managing to remember that it would be neither socially nor professionally appropriate to tell a seven-year-old during a church-sponsored activity to "shut the fuck up."

That is all. Carry on.


  1. haha... i have to laugh because all day i am surrounded by 7 year olds! (as a first grade teacher) last year when i was struggling to keep it all together after the loss of my girls, i really really wanted to shake this little boy who kept bringing in the ultrasound pictures of his baby brother (mind you the mom was younger than me and single). i, too, was able to stay on this side of appropriate, but only just barely!

  2. groan, another one bites the dust! asking nosy questions must be genetic. :)

  3. Holy crap - reason #3 made me laugh out loud. Go YOU!

  4. I work with kids too. One of my 8-year olds asked me repeatedly a few weeks ago if I was pregnant. Okay, so wearing a bulky belt with a tight sweater pulled over top may not have been the best fashion decision, but seriously? Do you really have to ask me that 4 times in a day?

  5. Well, that's sort of funny, but I can understand your frustration. I'm sorry, that doesn't sound fun at all. Good job with not saying anything too harsh.

  6. Hey, are you a pastor? I am too, but just resigned from Hospice Chaplaincy to do IVF. Come over to my blog.