Here is a conversation Sloan and I had yesterday in the car as we drove past a cemetary:
Sloan: "Mommy, why does that garden have all those statues in it?"
Me: "Those are headstones. That's a cemetary."
Sloan: "What's a cemetary?"
Me(starting to sweat a little at the thought of explaining this): "Well, when people die, we bury them in a cemetary, then put a headstone with their name on it so we know where they were buried."
Sloan: "We bury them in the dirt?"
Sloan: "But I thought people went to heaven when they die."
Me (really sweating now): "Well, if people know Jesus, they go to heaven. But their bodies stay here. You remember when Mr. John (our neighbor) died? He went to heaven but his body stayed here. (At this point I really began to hope that he didn't need further explanation. How do you explain the spirit to a 4 year old?)
Sloan: "I don't want to go to heavn."
Me: "Oh, yes you do. Heaven is a wonderful place with streets of gold and angels..."
Sloan: "I don't like angels!"
Me: "Angels are wonderful! They're nice and they love God and love to sing praises to Him."
Sloan: "Not the bad angels in the forest."
Me: "Ummm...but we're talking about angels in heaven."
Sloan: "No, I want to talk about bears."
Thus ended a potential teachable moment and began a ten minute dialogue as to whether bears cry and what a bear cry sounds like. As you can see we must always be on our toes when talking with him!