You know what’s hard? Raising a child in a world full of religion, and even more so in a world full of multiple religions, and beyond that in a world where people feel strongly about religion. How does that saying go, “Never talk about politics or religion”? I wish I could apply this phrase to my child. I wish I never had to talk about religion or politics with August, but alas, one grandmother sent a Menorah and the other sent a nativity scene this year, and he’s only two. Grmph.
You want to talk complicated? I’m technically Jewish and Brent is technically Christian. I say “technically” because although we came to our decisions in VERY different ways, neither one of us believe in much. However, we do want August to understand not only about our religion, but other people’s religions (Buddhism, Catholicism, and whatever else is out there that we don’t know about). The one thing I do want to try to avoid is August feeling confused about religion, specifically his own religion. Although I grew up with two Jewish parents, we celebrated Christmas every year. We never went to Synagogue, and we barely knew about Passover and Rosh Hashanah. To this day, I get the two confused. I found religion incredibly frustrating as a child, teenager, and now as an adult. I used to wish as a child that there was only one religion in the world, and that was it. Then there would be nothing to argue about.
At this point as an adult, it’s all uncomfortable because I don’t feel like I belong to any religion. Somehow to me figures of religion feel like the idea of taking the drug Ecstasy. It sounds interesting and often people tell me it makes you feel good, but I don’t know enough about it. Things that I don’t understand make me nervous. I have never tried Ecstasy, and probably never will.
Now as parents we have to decide wow do we handle this with August? Do we give him the Menorah and nativity scene, do we not? Do we bring him to church when Brent’s family goes, or do we not? And will all of this turn out to just make August some insanely religious person as an adult? Who knows? But it’s all hard. I guess a part of me wishes that both Brent and I subscribed to one religion because then we could just teach him that and none of this would be a problem. But we don’t so we’ll just muddle our way through, I guess.