God is a busy woman…

Notes from Italy


I have ben up to the knees in nappies, and up to the whist in washing, and buried in the domestic paraphrenalia of motherhood, for some time now. This welcome (but somewhat stifling) circumstance has not, however, entirely doused the feminist fire that used to sputter in my breast as a single career woman, not all that long ago- or was it?

Now I am the custodian of the developing philosophies of my three small children. This is quite a daunting task. There is so much competition nowadays from the entertainment market, which constantly bombards them with other people’s values and options.

While I was hanging out the fourth load of washing on my mother’s saturday just other day, Sam (aged five) whizzed past with the straw broom. It was, he happily informe me, one of his three boy heroes, all of whom could fly.

“What about the girl heros?” I sked, trying not to sound shrill.

“There are no girl heroes!”

Piqued, and lost for a immediate reply, I chomped on this information as I hug out the rest of the washing. Thomas the Tank Engine had already got pretty well up my nose with his team of subordinate, adoring female carriages following him obediently along and chiding him in wifely fashion for his wilful ways. Naturally, not having engines themselves, Annie and Clarabel and the gals would dream of being bold as Thomas and the lady, and actually doing anything except the occasiona bit of nagging, or going anywhere except where their men took them! Gracious no! Still smarting, I took my empty washing basketinside. Lou (aged four) was looking pensive over playdough.I could see at a glande that she was waxing philosophical, as soon became obvious. She was apparently ponderino creation and matters spiritual.

“God must be very busy making people”, she remarked, struggling to finish her second person before the playdough set hard.Timely, I thought. Very timely.

“Yes”, I replied.”God is a very busy WOMAN”.

There was an uttet, shocked silente from the playdough corner. Then, in a confused voice, Lou asked, “Mummy is God a boy or a girl?”.

“God is just a being, darling, neither a boy nor a girl. God is Love- a belief, an androgynous spirit, living inside people.” Heavy, I know, for a four years old. But we don’t beat around the bush with the facts of life around here. I you don’t get in first with your point of view, withoiu a doubt someone else will. I snickered victoriously, but quitly, while I put the laundry basket away. Meanwhile, I could hear some very deep thought grinding away over with playdough. Then, never one to be caught without the last word, Little Madam dealt the killer blow. “No, mummy, you are wrong.” “God MUST be a boy because “God” is a boy’s name!”

Yep, I certainly had some work to do!

from “Slippin’ on the lino” by Chiris Mithcell

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