Sometimes I really wish I would have listened to and believed my parents when they told me (often) that no, I really did not yet have all of the answers. Right or wrong, I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly well-read, educated, informed and knowledgeable individual. That has changed. Now I have kids who talk and ask questions that make sense and think deeper thoughts than how to fit a spoon into their mouths sideways.
Case in point. Deacon and Mason were talking about Easter and chocolate bunnies and egg hunts and I interjected with “well, you know it’s actually a religious holiday and not about chocolate or bunnies at all, right?” That bit of trivia was met with skeptical stares and uncertain glances at one another. “Um, what does that mean?”
“Well, it’s a religious, um, certain religions observe Good Friday because, um, well yeah. Easter has to do with the resurrection of Jesus, and other important religious things. It’s religious. No bunnies.” (note to self: shut up, you sound like an idiot)
“Oh! Because the old people didn’t have bunnies or something?”
“What exactly is religion?”
Oh shit. This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to talk. Like ever. I always end up talking myself into situations that I really should be relying on a reference book or at least Google to get me out of but instead of deferring to one of those superior sources, I press on.
“No, honey. Because as society has changed, it has commercialized Easter into being about chocolate and egg hunts and bunnies, but in all actuality, we are supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of Christ. But I’m not sure of the whole story, because, well, I don’t remember it, and well, we’re not really religious, I guess.” (I would add that we are spiritual and do hold beliefs deeper than MTV but we have never actually adopted an organized way of expressing that spirituality or those beliefs)
“Oh. Well, they must have been sad not to get any Easter eggs and stuff.”
Then, I did something that it has taken me YEARS of parenting to do. I let the subject drop. First, because I did not want to ruin the Easter they know and love by beating them over the head about how commercial everything is these days and how we need to rise above that type of superficial existence (yes, I recognize that’s a bit heavy for an eight and ten-year-old) and second because I realized that I didn’t have a fast fuckin’ clue how to explain the meaning of Easter to them and that fact was a ginormous hit to my ‘big brain’ ego.
So now, I have homework. Self-imposed but not really. Because while I don’t feel like I need to pretend to have all the answers or know everything (anymore, don’t ask sixteen-year-old me how she feels about that!), I do feel very strongly that part of my job as a parent to these beautiful minions is to guide them, to help them discover what they believe in and why and to give them a sense of and reality of strong traditions that help root them, comfort them and give them strength when life or circumstances try to deplete their reserves. My homework is to make sure that I know and can explain why we are celebrating any given occasion and what it means to me, what it may mean to others (may or may not be the same thing), and find out what it means to my children. Opening up discussions, sharing ideas and thoughts, educating and discovering together, being mindful and purposeful in our traditions and consciously choosing to create and perpetuate those traditions. That is my homework.
And just because this weekend has been about family and family time, here is most of mine:
P.S. My proofreader/spell check only found one error in this post. I don’t trust that ratty old pecker but at the same time I want to believe that it is true and that no errors exist (big brain ego at work again) so in trusting the proofreader it necessarily follows that I must claim any and all spelling and grammatical errors as my own. It is only right. U no? 😳
P.P.S. I post a lot of nonsensical blithering on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s worth ‘Liking’ ‘Following’ or just checking out The Keswick Blog in those places as well. Because on too many days right now, micro-blogging is all that I can do. 😉