A Heart With Legs

The other night, the girls discussed what God looks like. Ellie needed answers. Real ones. “He is whatever you imagine he looks like,” was the best I could do for her. Molly explained, calmly that he could look like a cloud, or a star.

“Is he a person? Is he a real person?” Ellie wanted to know.

“No he’s not a person. He’s different than a person.”

“But is he real?” She demanded.

“And he doesn’t die,” added Molly.


Ellie asked what I think God looks like. I told her I think he looks like an old man.

“An old man? Like an old man?” Scrunched up face. “What old man?”

“That’s what I think. You can think he looks like anything you want him to look like.”

“Like a cloud,” Molly reminded us.

Ellie presented me later with a picture of a heart-like figure with legs. “This is what God looks like. Don’t lose this.”

What continues to amaze me about Ellie–and among the things I love about four-year-old Ellie–is that she enters the world of adults easily; her sensitivity and humor surpass our seriousness and our absurdity.

Today we fought over which coat she’d wear to school. I handed Ellie her sister’s wool swing coat from last year, one I had bought because it looks like a little lady’s coat. They do not like this coat at all because the neck itches when it’s buttoned. “Please mama, I want the sparkly sweater!”

That isn’t warm enough, I insisted. And I forced her to wear the coat I like, threatening to take away something she is looking forward to. She was in tears; but she wore the coat defiantly, as if it were her idea, unbuttoned all the way, grabbed her scooter by the door, and put on her helmet as we reached the elevator.

Passing a local playground on the way to their school, she and Henry noticed the large iron gates left open in the rain. They know by now that playgrounds are closed when it rains in New York City.

“Who left the gates open?” Henry asked, slowing down.

“I think you did, mommy,” Ellie said slyly, glancing momentarily at me, a grin appearing, nodding her head, about to make herself laugh. “Yep, mama. I really do.”


This entry was posted in Family Life, New York City Living and Coping, Parenting Moments and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Heart With Legs

  1. Aleta says:

    Ok, the heart with legs just melted my heart!

  2. aviets says:

    I LOVE the added comment, “Don’t lose this.” Very humbling (because as a mom I know how easy it is to lose or “lose” things) and very dear, because she trusted her special picture to you. Wonderful story. 🙂 -Amy at http://www.momgoeson. wordpress.com

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