Well-fed Elijah has become curious about television. He has a new topic and questions.
“Grandpa, Mom’s been watching CNN. What’s CNN?”
“It’s a 24-hours-a-day news channel, one of many television channels.”
“Yeah, my great uncle John doesn’t like CNN. He told Mom she should be watching FOX. What’s FOX, Grandpa?”
“Well, Elijah, it’s too early for that discussion. There are more choices than CNN and FOX.
“Yeah, like MSNBC and Rachel Maddow! I like Rachel! I don’t like Sean Hannity. He’s mean!”
“I understand. But you need to be careful. Both Rachel and Sean only do one-way conversations.”
“Yeah, like ours, right Grandpa?”
“Sort of. But you get to talk back to me. Sort of. I can hear you. Rachel and Sean can’t and they don’t care what you have to say. When you get older you can choose your own television channel. You don’t have to watch the news all the time. But no matter what you end up watching, you’ll always have Grandpa.”
“But, Grandpa! There’s a lot of scary stuff out there in the big world. When I grow up, do I have to go out there?”
“Yes, Elijah, but this isn’t the time to worry about that.”
Ask Mom to turn on Sesame Street. There are lots of fun people on Sesame Street, like Big Bird, to help you get ready for the big world. Or you can come to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house and watch re-runs of Mr. Rogers.”
“Who’s Mr. Rogers?”
“Well, Mr. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister. Like Grandpa.”
“What’s a Presbyterian?”
“Well, that depends on who you ask, Elijah. Some people call us ‘God’s frozen chosen’ ’cause they think we think we’re special and we don’t show a lot of emotion in worship. But for me, a Presbyterian is someone just like Mr. Rogers.
“So . . . will you help me to tie my shoelaces when I get shoes?”
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, June 1, 2017.