Thursdays

On Thursday evenings, we eat an early dinner. Okay. Most evenings we eat an early dinner. But on Thursdays, we make certain to finish our dinner early so we can drive nine miles west to get the boys to our church for children’s choir practice.

Church

They love it. I love that they love it.

Walking In

Tonight, as we waited for the director to get into the practice room so I could ask her a question, I watched as the accompanist taught the boys a quick song on the piano. I watched as they joyously banged on the bongo drums, as they fake-tap-danced on the linoleum floor, as they greeted each of their friends as they showed up.

Time for Choir

It also gives us, the parents, an hour to go out and do something by ourselves in the middle of the week. We normally stop and get a coffee, or for me, half cappuccino, half espresso roast like my dad taught me back when he drove me to voice lessons every Thursday evening. Today we went to Dollar General and bought Gatorade and Lysol to replenish our stashes after the stomach virus that ripped through our family. I took a moment to call and check on my parents. We stopped and bought some wine, because stomach virus that ripped through our family. And then we went to pick them up.

Us, Out an About

I struggle with taking them to choir. I struggle with taking them to Sunday School, which we haven’t in awhile. I struggle with teaching them about a faith that I hold near and dear to my heart. I want them to know the love that I have, the faith that I have, the joy that I have… but I desperately want to shield them from the hate that exists within the bigger church. I want them to find a faith, if they so choose, on their own, not just simply adopt the one I have so chosen as my own. Growing up in the evangelical church in the 80’s and 90’s, I saw things that make me fear for my own children. Not necessarily for their physical safety, but for their spiritual ability to discern right from wrong, faith from brainwashing, love from hate, mistakes from guilt and shame.

I can only hope that as I continue to expose them in this way while also working oh-so-hard to keep the dialogue open about all of these issues at hand will keep the door open. So that they can question, ask the harder questions that many from my generation didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask. That I didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask. It’s a fine line, a difficult one to walk as a parent; a parent with faith who was scarred by more than one leader with ulterior motives or, even, the best of intentions that lead down a path of hate.

I don’t have the answers to the bigger faith questions at large, but I hope to be the best mother I can be to these two little boys, on this topic and so many others. That’s all I can do.

Peace

And hope against hope that someday my sons’ generation will know the peace that my generation wishes existed now.

 

 

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6 Replies to “Thursdays”

  1. For a long time, I just thought the church would die. And that our kids would grow up in a world where religion didn’t matter. I forgot about faith. And the deep desire in so many of us to seek. And possibly find. I grew up with the inability to determine when I was being brainwashed. In fact, I was taught that so much is clear. When really, some things are, but so much isn’t. Which is why we seek. We question. We wonder. We go deeper. And maybe we find God. The God who is bigger than our questions and doubts and closer than we could ever imagine.

  2. I absolutely get this… It’s been a huge struggle for me as well, when it came to my kids. But then one day I realized that the world is just a flat out ugly place, whether it’s inside a church or not. And our faith is about a relationship between us and God and how we choose to live our personal lives, around that relationship… And at the end of the day, stupid, sad people will make stupid, sad choices. That’s always going to happen. Inside a church, or outside of- but having been affected and afflicted by this both in the church, and in the world outside of it, I have to say my faith/relationship with God is the one bearable thing that made any ounce of difference… I’m sure you absolutely “get” that.

  3. it scares me when people of faith don’t expose their kids to a place of worship. while i certainly don’t agree with the hate spewed by lots of people in the church, worshiping and coming to know god is a beautiful thing.
    my mom was a catholic nun for 12 years before leaving the convent, meeting my father, getting married, having me, getting divorced, getting remarried, etc. i grew up loving going to church with my mom, but sunday school for me was awful. i hated it. hate is a strong word for me, always was, so when i told my mom that i hated sunday school her response was, “so don’t go.” i was floored, yet i happily stopped attending sunday school…and never made my confirmation.
    good news was mom still encouraged me to go with her to sunday mass (i loved those times together). and as a teenager she drove me to the methodist youth group i joined. mom helped me i get the basic spiritual foundation. when i stopped going to church she didn’t push. she was rather proud that i circled back around to adult religious education classes and made my confirmation in my 20’s.
    i don’t go to catholic mass these days, but the point i am struggling to make is that i am so very glad that your boys have you to help lay the basic foundation of faith. i love that you will talk to them about your struggles with some of the church’s views. i am a firm believer that kids learn from watching those closest to them so it hurts me to see people who believe in god not even try to expose their children to their faith. the base you are giving them, along with your encouragement that it is ok to question and ok to be different than you is fantastic.
    sorry to take up so much room over here. pretty sure i should have dusted off my blog and rambled about this over there. not sure i properly conveyed what i wanted and intended, but i need to stop in your comments. feel free to kick me next time i see you if i have overstepped my bounds.
    know that you are loved. and that i think you are doing such a great job raising those boys.
    xoxo

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