"Mommy, come quickly! Jesus is coming!" Anaya squealed in make-believe delight this afternoon. "He is coming in the clouds! There is a cloud the size of Sethie's hand!"
I ascertained that this was a "pretend" heaven and played along, introducing her to a little four-year-old pretend friend who could "go to heaven" with her while I fixed supper. (I know, I'm shameless in my use of her imagination. But surely I have to make supper sometime.) Anaya was satisfied with this new development.
"Want to go to heaven with me, Avaya? In heaven there is lots of food. It is healthy food. There are apples and grapes, and lots of things. You don't have to sleep in heaven. And there are no bad people there. It is empty of bad people! There are only good people!"
"Now I want to go to heaven!" answered phantom Avaya.
"There are lots of things in heaven. You might even like heaven. Jesus is there! There will be no crying and no sadness and no sin. And you might even cry and be happy with happy tears. Don't you think that would be great? Heaven will be great with lots of flowers. It will be great! There will be no crying and no SCREAMING," she announced pointedly to Seth, who apparently had just been invited along to "heaven."
Anaya dashed down the hall, followed by Seth, and, apparently, by Avaya. I could hear shouts of, "It's great up here in heaven! It's so much fun being in heaven!" This was followed shortly by Seth running back to me. "Mommy! I need holp!"
I realized that evidently "heaven" was on my bed, which is too tall for Seth to climb up, and too high for him to play there safely. "Anaya, heaven can't be on my bed," I informed her. "Make heaven somewhere else."
"I guess I won't be able to be in heaven!" Anaya wailed sorrowfully. "'Bye, Jesus."