Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 Fanatic
People go to church for different things, for different reasons. It's not my place to assume why anybody's there. I have no idea what's going on with somebody else's spiritual journey, and it would be presumptuous if not borderline sacrilegious to think I did.
Except M. Small. He's there for the fan.
He's had a thing for fans almost as long as he's been around. Ceiling fans were just about the first thing that could reliably hold his attention for more than a few seconds, and his obsession only grew from there. To the point where for a while, I was sure his first word was going to be "Saigon.."
And his fascination has gotten more intense instead of less. He won't lie still for a diaper change unless the ceiling fan in his room is going, and forget about getting him to sleep. When we're in stores, we have to rush through the aisles where the fans aren't spinning, while we can linger in the ones where they are.
But getting back to church. Some people go to experience the presence of God. M. Small is one of those people. For him, however, God is the five-foot monster on a high ledge at the back of the sanctuary. "Big Fan," he'll say to it. "BIG Fan!" Which is why we're glad our church has a day care we can drop him off at. We all commune with the almighty in our own way, but his energetic, Pentecostal style doesn't really fit in with a bunch of lefty Episcopalians.
Of course, if you're truly religious, it's not something you confine to Sundays. That's probably why any time we drive past our church, any day of the week, he'll holler from his car seat, "Big Fan!" Just warming up the vocal chords in case he gets an audience, I suppose.
This week, however, his fantheism reached a new level, along with his sudden ability to speak in complete sentences. The next-door neighbors currently have a box fan in the second-floor window that faces our house. So M. Small can stand at the living-room window and cry out his mantra, "I see a fan!" Which he does. "Look at that!" He waits breathlessly for those moments when a gust of wind will set it gently turning, at which point he'll mimic the motion by moving his fist in clockwise circles and proclaim, "Spinning!" Like it was making the blind to see and the lame to walk.
After a while of this, we actually called next door and asked them to turn it on. This was almost too much for him, and he almost seemed worried that he'd angered it somehow.
But the next day is when it got really weird. While we were out apple picking, his new friend The Captain gave him a few sweet buns in a Styrofoam takeout box. After we got home, he paid tribute to the fan in his usual way. And then he went and found the buns, which we thought he was going to eat. But instead he reverently carried them into the living room with both hands, set them on our windowsill, and intoned, "Here, Fan. For you, Fan."
He was making an offering. I knew little kids could get confused about religion, but I had no idea.
So I don't know what to do. I could force him to go cold turkey, or I could edit together a DVD for him out of the best clips from Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, and Casablanca. But what I'll probably do is wait for him to figure out that when people are praying in church, it's to something other than what he is. After that, he can make his own decisions. posted by M. Giant 9:13 PM 8 comments
And Angel heart - don't forget Angel Heart.
Fantheism - hah!
You'll be glad he's been so observant on the day of judgment, when the Big Fan comes for ALL OUR SOULS.
Boy, M. Giant isn't kidding. I was carrying M. Small around the mid-remodel upstairs, and he was fine until he saw that fan next door out the window. And then he was like, "FAN! FAN! I SEE A FAN! SPIN, FAN, SPIN!"
My little guy had a similar obsession with vacuum cleaners -- he would talk to them (even through the closet door), offer them treats, make up stories about them -- until overnight, a year ago, he decided they were terrifying instead of fascinating. Now he won't enter a room with one in sight. Come to think of it, this describes my relationship with Catholicism over the last 20 years, so I guess it is a natural process.
Little human beings are so awesome. It's a shame they eventually turn into those annoying giant human beings.
I popped over here from a link on fricknits.typepad.com, and I'm glad I did. I am now officially a Big Fan (of your blog). Perhaps M. Small can bring me some treats now?