>> 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?"
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.