Sunday, December 16, 2007

Trying to explain Christmas.....

Ah, the challenges of a "mixed-faith" home....

From the beginning of our relationship, Dan and I agreed to disagree where religion was concerned. We did agree, though, that our children would be exposed to religion and encouraged to make their own decisions. But I have been a slacker in my role as "sharer of the Catholic religion". In fact, Max hasn't been to church since Easter - and in the life of a two-year-old, that might as well be forever.

I didn't want to go to Christmas Mass without having talked about church, Jesus, and the real reason for the holiday. So this morning was it - my first time to take both boys to church. On the way there, I decided to have a little talk with Max about where we were going. But where do you start? The Catholic faith, and religion in general isn't particularly simple!

We started talking about the fact that Christmas is baby Jesus' birthday, and church is a place where we go to celebrate that birthday. Ok, fine - babies - check, birthdays - check. He's got it. This makes sense. But then, "We go her house?" Her who? "Her Jesus?". Ah, no - Jesus is a boy. "We go Jesus house?" Well, kind of...hmmm. This is harder than I thought. And when we got there, he really wanted to know where the baby Jesus was, like physically, right now.
Since we haven't alked about death yet, that's too hard, too.

Lots of questions. But, he seemed to enjoy watching all the goings-on. Luke slept most of the time, so that made that part more simple. But what it really made me realize is that church can no longer be a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, if I want Max and Luke to grow up with a background of faith. And while I struggle with my own faith, I really do want it to be an option for them.

Plus, I need someone else to answer those questions....

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