How do you know...

>> Monday, 28 November 2011

...when your child is living too secular a life?

I'm supposed to be a Roman Catholic. I have to admit though that, since living in Moscow, I have let my attendance at mass slide somewhat. It's not only because the nearest service in English is in the middle of town and conducted in a not particularly charismatic way; I also, like many Catholics I know, have 'issues' with various situations within the church recently, but I never planned that my concerns would impact on my sons being able to understand the faith they have been baptised into, or interfere with their making a fully informed choice for themselves on whether to embrace it or to look elsewhere in the future.

However, you can't drop your children into a foreign (literally) environment and expect them to absorb your religious education and beliefs by osmosis - as I am discovering. You have to work at it. And following a conversation I had with Boy #2 this weekend, I think I need to prioritise that.

We were discussing who in our family will have the next birthday. Boy #2 knew full well that his is the next birthday, but he just wanted further confirmation of that (when you're 5 going on 6, these things are important).

Me: "Well, yours is the next birthday, Boy #2."

Boy #2: "Yes, yes it is..."

Me (tongue in cheek): "Unless you count Jesus as being in our family, of course. If you do, then his is the next birthday."

Boy #2: "Is it? When?"

Me: "You know when it is! It's on December 25th."

Boy #2 gave a sharp intake of breath "Wow! That's amazing! Jesus's birthday is the same day as Christmas! How lucky is he?"

We got it sorted out, eventually. But I wonder how much actually went in, because the next day...

Boy #2: "You know how my birthday is quite close to Christmas?"

Me: "Yeeees."

Boy #2: "Well, if my birthday was on Christmas Day, and Jesus' birthday was on my birthday, then I would be God!"

Yep. Still a little work to do there, I think.


Eclipse,  28 November 2011 at 16:27  

Brilliant logic!

Iota 28 November 2011 at 17:09  

And where does Santa and his birthday fit into all that?

Knackered Mother 28 November 2011 at 17:15  

Clever boy #2. I follow the logic, just!

nappy valley girl 28 November 2011 at 19:08  

Very sweet (and funny!) Littleboy 2's birthday is in December too, and he gets very confused about Christmas and his birthday. We usually have the tree up by the time we have his party, and I think in his head the whole thing is rolled into one.

About Last Weekend 28 November 2011 at 20:02  

My kids are always amazed when 'famous' people follow them too!

MsCaroline 28 November 2011 at 22:49  

I think there's a certain amount of extrapolation that kids will make during the sorting-out process, no matter what their religious training! My own kids grew up going to church very regularly and it still took years for them to get things sorted out. At our house, this was exacerbated when the dog ate the Baby Jesus from the Nativity we put up under the tree. We replaced him(Jesus, not the dog) with a Superman, who was just the right size to fit in the manger.
Their theology was murky for years.

Nora 29 November 2011 at 02:49  

At least you can say that he does have a high enough opinion of himself. There's no shortage of that. The kid is going to go far in life with that attitude. He's still my favorite character in your posts. I know he's not really a character but a real life little boy. I'm sure he reminds you of that every day. XOX

Potty Mummy 29 November 2011 at 17:32  

Eclipse - he's never failed me yet.

Iota, please. Obviously Santa IS god. Didn't you know that?

KM, you followed that? Get help, now...

NVG, it IS confusing. Especially when, much of the time, Boy #2 behaves as if he actually is God.

ALW, it's hilarious, isn't it? (But if I'm honest, I quite like it when it happens as well...)

MsC, you just explained a lot (and I like you even more for using Superman...)

Nora, thankyou - and yes, he does!

Tattie Weasle 29 November 2011 at 20:10  

Still giggling...Bog Boy (5 going on 6) too has a God complex and his Birthday is nowhere near Christmas! Might it just be their age or do we have a bigger problem here? Mine get hopelessly lost about religion and Jesus and faith but The Boy is getting the hang of it at 8 so panic ye not!

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