“I knew you’d eventually lose your mind.” My friend shook her head dismissing my insane burst of laughter.
“I’m not crazy.” I assured her. “Well, maybe just a bit. I was just laughing at the mental picture of my baby brother dressed in white, looking like an angel.”
My friend’s eyes widen in understanding and she joined my humorous hysteria. And if you knew my baby brother you would probably throw your head back and roar like a lunatic too. My baby brother’s common attire includes humongous T-shirts, baggie jeans with waist bands that stay half-mast over his butt, Jordan sneakers, oversized baseball caps, earrings… all these items come in very vivid colors.
“I’m actually really pleased.” I whipped happy tears. “He is 22 and I’ve never seen him in dress clothes, so I’m looking forward to attending his first communion. I’m going to take so many pictures that day. I’ll treasure them too. He is truly going to look like an angel.”
“I want to go to the party like an angel too. Can I wear a white dress too, mommy? Please! Please! Please…” my friend’s 4 year old daughter was jumping at the beat of her ‘pleases’, making a mess of the laundry I had just folded for her mother.
“Sweets you are not going to that.” My friend removed her child from the bed. “That’s a Catholic thing. We don’t go to those.”
“Why not?” asked my friends husband, who had just got home from work. “What’s so bad about her going to church? What’s going to…?”
I got a hold of the child and walked out of the room knowing that the madness was about to start—again.
My friend is Pagan and her husband is Catholic. My friend’s husband is quite eclectic and he is okay with their daughter experiencing all different religions. My friend on the other hand is not so tolerant. She believes her child should be raised Pagan and that’s the end of it. I tried to reason with her once, and as a result our friendship suffered. Today, I just stay out of the argument.
I’m very particular when it comes to children and religion. Actually, I’m very particular when it comes to children. I don’t have any, so I don’t feel qualified to give any good advice. I have it as a rule not to give my opinion about important issues if I have no experience in the subject. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t ponder about it.
I’ve found myself lost in thought more than once, wondering how to raise a child if the person I go halves with follows a different path, and has the notion that his spiritual path is the one the child should embrace. First of all, I just don’t think that children should be pushed into any religion. Gods! I walked on those shoes and my toes still blistered from the stroll. I believe that children should be allowed to be children. They should learn a bit of everything—spiritual and secular—and be allowed to make their own decision when they are old enough to know what they really want.
A little sobbing voice interrupted my thoughts. “I don’t like it when they yell.”
“Oh hon, they are just talking loudly. It will be fine in just a bit, you’ll see.” I rubbed her back.
“They talk loudly a lot, you know?” she whipped her nose with the back of her hand.
I looked at her little face and felt powerless. “Wanna go to the bookstore?”
Her face lit up. “Story Time!”
“I think is a bit late for story time, but you can pick a book and I’ll read it for you. How’s that?”
“Nice. I like it when you read to me. You sound funny like my daddy.”
“Yes, your dad has an accent too.”
I sent a text message to my friend: call me when is safe to come home.
I secured my friend’s daughter on her booster seat, but my mind was still running wild with questions. Am I going to meet a guy who shares my beliefs about children and spirituality? What about if I don’t? Will I be able to be part of such a relationship?
I pulled out of the driveway, but not before hearing my friend yell one last time. I started singing to drown the noise, but I wasn’t fast enough. The little girl’s lower lip was already trembling. I wished my friend could see what these grownup arguments are doing to this little girl.
I can’t understand my friend’s attitude, but maybe it is because I don’t have any children. If you have children, what is your approach to spirituality when it comes to them? If you don’t have any children, have you been in my situation?
Share your thoughts…