Suburban Snapshots

I Found Jesus, He Was in
the Play Kitchen

Monday, January 02, 2012

During the months leading up to Christmas, Anna's class was busy practicing for their school's December pageant. Their song was Mariah Carey's version of Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child, and though Anna's actual part in the performance was a backup angel, at home she rehearsed the role of Mother Mary several times each day before school and repeatedly in the evening before bed. The pageant was over a week ago and she's still at it.

Yesterday as we packed away Christmas, she hid the manger and its cast of characters in her toy refrigerator and had a tantrum when I discovered and boxed them up.

Today as I browsed the interwebs for a kid-friendly manger and its inhabitants, it dawned on me that this whole religion thing is outside the realm of Parenting Topics in Which I'm Competent. I'm not even sure what my own beliefs are based on, and that class I took on The Old Testament with a charismatic, hippie professor hardly counts as religious education.

Ironically (or not), I'm more in favor of Anna having some kind of official religious education than Steve, who went through CCD and achieved all the rites my sisters and I missed — we're the ones still seated during Communion, and chances are we're only in church because someone decided to have a full-mass Catholic wedding, and it's probably not air conditioned and most likely it's August.

While it is nice to hear Anna using Jesus' name in contexts other than the expletive, I'm unsettled as to how we move forward. Not only do Steve and I need to get in sync, but I have to work out my own thoughts on the matter. It all feels pretty heavy. I have my ideas of God and Jesus, but what if I can't align them with official doctrine? And where do we start? And maybe Steve wants us to be Buddhists.

I'd love to hear how you all navigated this part of raising humans into good people, whether or not religion played a part of the plan, how you incorporated it, and if your own beliefs changed once a child was involved.

Or maybe there's a loophole where we pawn this all off on the godparents. 

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