On the long drive home on Saturday, we were listening to the book Redwall. David doesn’t understand any of the conversation or the plot; he understands only what I’ve told him, occasionally picking out a word here or there. He knows the story is about good guys and bad guys, so every once in awhile he’d ask if the good guys were talking or the bad guys were talking. Once, during an exciting part, I tried to explain what was going on, so they could understand more. The bad rat was stealing the tapestry, and Matthias [the good mouse] trying to stop them.
David asked, Is he brave because he is killing all the bad guys?
No, he is brave because he does what is right, even though he is afraid.
He listened, and then kept trying to find out what the good mouse was doing. He still thinks bravery is the absence of fear. Often, my tendency is to break out in an extended discussion, but this time I kept the answer short. In the past I’ve reminded him that King David was a brave warrior, and he says many times in the Psalms that he was afraid. I suspect the cumulative effect is fine. (Especially when I consider how often I shift into my teaching voice and manner, and am reminded, Mom, I really do not want to hear any more.)
It is great to be home.