Skip to main content

Fishing for Religion

Having a child makes you want to do everything the RIGHT way. I remember preparing like a New Year's Resolution for all of the good changes we were going to make after Caroline's birth: no more watching TV; no more swearing (I know- good bye F-bomb); no more fighting; eat more vegetables; drink more water; go to sleep earlier. Caroline was going to make us better people. It was just that easy.

Being the perfect role model for your child is a daunting responsibility. It's also impossible. We have learned to fudge some of our perfect parenting. Watch a little bit of TV until the baby figures out that TV exists; remind each other to stop swearing and drop as many F-bombs as you can on the car ride from work to daycare; discuss don't argue; sneak veggies onto pizza; drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee; at least sleeping on the couch is better than staying up late. We're on our way to being better.

F-bombs and veggies aside, our biggest role model decision is about religion. To be religious or not be religious: that is the question. I do not have an answer or a story, just questions. Can you share a religion with your child when you question its truths? Is it better to pick a church and then let your child decide whether she will continue with it into adulthood? Are you a "faker" if you join a church after slacking on going to one for years?

I like to think of myself as an "ethnic Catholic" because the rituals of Catholicism are ingrained in my upbringing. I find comfort in the memory of being religious but I'm not sure what the religion means to me anymore. I may also be a "cafeteria Catholic" because I want to pick and choose what I believe in, those ideas which best fit my lifestyle. Maybe I choose a scoop of Catholicism for the entree and a dallop of Buddhism for dessert and drink it all down via Quakerism. How do I explain that to a two year old?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…