Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pathological Liar

On Sunday as Alex passed the Primary President and was not able to put a penny in the jar for bringing his scriptures, he informed her, "My scriptures were stolen."

As has become customary for the adults in primary, she glanced up at me for verification.  I shook my head no.

Adam's turn came, and he also had to pass by without putting in a penny.  The president asked, "Oh, were your scriptures stolen, too?"  I spoke up, and as the only people left in the room were the teachers and presidency, I explained, "No.  I only have one pathological liar."

Everyone laughed, knowing I was exaggerating a bit.  Alex's babysitter chimed in with, "He's not a liar.  He just has such a huge imagination."  And it is so true.

There was the day when he explained to Kirk that he had not stolen a piece of chocolate cake and eaten it in his bedroom.  What appeared to be chocolate crumbs was - in fact - "brown sugar bugs" which had infested his bedroom.

The time two summers ago when we stopped by for a visit at Grandma's school, and when the time came to leave, we couldn't find his shoes anywhere.  According to him, they'd been taken up in a rocket.

Sure, a lot of kids tell stories.  They do it to avoid getting in trouble.  They imagine during play.  But the difference with Alex is that his imagination is so vivid, I think he actually believes the stories he tells.

This morning he found a toy frog in the hall.  "Mom," he said, "I wished for two things.  A skateboard and a frog."  And he's convinced those wishes came true, because someone left a skateboard in our garage, and he found a frog this morning.  The thing is, though, I know he found the things first, invented the story about the wish, and now completely believes that if he wishes for something it will come true.

In my recent scripture study, I came across Alma 18:22.  "And he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning."

I find the conjunctions and pronouns in this verse very interesting, because they leave the idea up to interpretation.  Does our Heavenly Father know the intents of our heart because He created us?  Does our Heavenly Father know the intents of our heart because He created the thoughts and intents?  Or are the statements not as linked as that would suggest.  Perhaps the conjunction "for" was intended more as a fancy "and."  A statement that Heavenly Father knows our thoughts followed by a statement that He created us?

I'm curious because, as a parent, I feel like I have special insight into the thoughts and intents of my children's hearts because I created my children.  They are a part of me, so I get them in a way I think no one else can.  I kind of like the idea that the reason Heavenly Father knows the thoughts and intents of my heart is because He created me; He gets me in a way no one else can.

While Alex may at times seem like a pathological liar, ready to create a story that ensures his removal from any trouble, I know it stems from his ability to create a world and believe it is real.  I believe our loving Heavenly Father can see similarly redeeming qualities in the choices we make.  I believe this ability comes not because He is God, but because He is the Father.

And because I'm the mother of a bundle of imagination, I'm probably in for years of sorting out the intents of his heart.


As I clicked the button to publish and shut down the page to help Alex look for the projector remote, Alex and I had the following conversation.

X: Maybe Daddy took it.
M: Daddy didn't take it.  I used it this morning after he left.
X: Then it was a ghost.  Ghost-es are real.  And I heard a sound like it was a ghost.  So a ghost must have come down and took it.
(Pause as we continued to look for the remote.)
X: (Muttering to himself throughout the basement) Totally, totally real.