The other night while sitting on the couch, Monster started singing,
“God, our Father, God, our Father, thank you for our mommies, thank you for our daddies.”
First, I mean, how cute is that? He learned it at his amazing child-watch, which is part of a Christian organization.
Second, uh-oh. Now what do I do?
I haven’t prayed in a long time. A very long time. I think going to more than a decade of Catholic school may have been burnout for me.
I got away from organized religion around college (big shock), and it has only been since my kids came into this world that I have seriously considered finding some type of faith community again.
Until now, I have been pretty hands-off with any kind of higher being. I’m more of a “have respect for nature and people and it pays off organically” kind of person.
You can’t really escape religion in the South. It isn’t exactly Catholic-ville down here, but Christians are out the wazoo. Everyone blesses you and prays for you and asks where you go to church. It’s actually a lot like where I’m from up North, though in the Catholic world, it’s more like everyone shames you and prays for your redemption and asks if you’d like to avoid burning in hell. At least, that’s what I remember. Years and years of guilt and shame.
Jesus is EVERYWHERE here, and not just in the spiritual “I will always be with you” sense. I feel like Jesus is on billboards and store signs and his name is coming off everyone’s lips. It’s only a matter of time until my kids ask about him, and I don’t know how to answer.
In truth, I think Jesus and I would have been homies. I’m still figuring out the son of God part, but I think it’s hard for anyone to argue that he was a really cool dude. Hello – he single-handedly led a movement based around the “all you need is love” mentality. He was an old-school hippie of sorts who preached awesome lessons about love and forgiveness.
And it does not bother this girl at all that he could turn water into wine. Just saying.
All half-jokes aside, how do I teach my child about religion when I have no idea what I believe? I’m smack in the middle of my spiritual journey. Go ahead and call me a heathen, but I think more and more parents are finding themselves in my position. I know at least two other people experiencing this, so that’s enough to be statistically significant of the entire population, right?
Maybe my kids and I will figure this out together. After all, they teach me things every day. Their births taught me to believe in miracles. Maybe Monster’s little song is enough to teach me how to believe in something again.
And I think I have a little more time to figure things out. I just asked Monster who Jesus is, and he said, “She is a girl who goes splash and then BAM!” and then he slapped his palms together. He has also been watching a lot of Godzilla, so he may have been confused. Just like his momma.

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5 Comments on Oh.my.god.

  1. Danelle Schlegelmilch
    November 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey nobody ever has it totally figured out…that’s why they call it faith. :) I think now is a great time for you and your family to grow some roots in your faith walks together. How exciting!!

  2. Shannon
    November 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey Kate, I completely understand how you feel (especially since we went to the same Catholic high school ;) ). Once I focused less on organized religion and more on Jesus and who He was and what He taught us, I started to feel more faith than I ever had before. But I still have no idea of what I think about religion itself. To make matters more complicated, my husband is a different religion and he too isn’t sure how he feels about it all. Therefore we have a lot of journeying to do before we have kids so we can help them find faith without confusing them. It’s not an easy journey, but a journey is what it is. Be open and honest about your feelings with your children and they will grow to trust you as a person they can be open and honest with themselves. No one has all the answers, we just have to support each other in our journeys.

  3. Becki Bleh
    November 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh my! Mike and I just had this conversation on Sunday afternoon. When we have kids, do we start going back to church? Or find a new religion since Catholicism doesn’t quite match all of our beliefs? Public or private school? How do we teach (aside from leading by example) if our kids go to a public school and don’t have religion classes every day?

    Needless to say, we need to actually have kids first — and get married to make the Catholic family members happy! It was a very interesting discussion to have together and I’m glad to know that we aren’t the only ones struggling to make decisions outside of the Catholic bubble of the West Side!

  4. Jessica Elaine
    November 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm (6 years ago)

    I feel like I’m on the opposite side of the fence, as a protestant Christian who married a Catholic (to the shock of his family) I am having a hard time fitting in and adapting to the Catholic lifestyle of Cincinnati. I was raised in an equally strict religious family, but later in life became a non-denominational Christian and got into Jesus at my own pace.

    Sometimes I want to stand up in mass and yell “there is more out there”. But I know that the Catholic mentality means more to my husband than it does to me, so I stay quiet. I’m happy where I am with Jesus, even though it doesn’t necessarily have a specific religious stamp on it.

    Also Theo’s God father is Gay, so clearly you can see that I stand behind the love everyone mentality.

    Jess Stricker
    Shakin’ things up on the westside since 2010

  5. Amber Trotter
    November 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm (6 years ago)

    Seriously it’s like you read my mind.


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