Sunday, April 5, 2009

religion fails, and nature wins

Rosey's religious upbringing has been....lackadaisical, at best. While she knows the stories and cheerfully says her nightly prayers, she hasn't been exposed to actual church that often. And while I attend services, she doesn't - a combination of there not being many -well, any- young ones in the congregation, and my own certainty that she's just too young to sit still for an hour.

She surprised me today by wanting to go.

And she did really, really well. There was some kicking of heels and a little wandering, but that was easily contained and not at all distracting. (We were in the back.)

We were doing well (even through the sermon! which I remember as a child dreading) until I realized there was a Love Feast.*

Well, crap.

Since I really didn't want to explain the process in three minutes or less, I told R we were going to stay back in our seats. She craned her neck and announced (loudly)'Look, Mama, they're having snack!'

Whoops.

The rest of the service went well, though. She'll keep going back with me as long as she still continues to show an interest.

Once we got home, I shoved dinner in the oven, and Cass went outside. Within moments he was back, panting and excited. 'There's a beaver in the backyard!'


He took off to go see if he could get close and I followed within a few moments to snap some pictures. We ended up on our stomachs in the winter stubble, inching closer to the young beaver as it nibbled (dead grass? grubs? something) from under the water.



Cass is really interested - in both nature and photography, and we stayed out there for a good half-an-hour, just talking and watching. It was all very peaceful and nice - to sit outside with the breeze blowing the cobwebs away, and to sit outside being still with my usually harum-scarum boy.

What the heck, I thought. Surely he'd know. 'Cass, what do you call the ceremony in church where people drink a little grape juice and eat bread?'

Cass looked thoughtful. 'A social?'

Yup, lackadaisical.
But at least he knows his way around a camera.


*We're United Church of Canada, and have a lay minister right now. Since we don't have an ordained UCC minister, we can't have Communion - hence the Love Feasts, which is (I suppose) Communion Lite? Same procedure, but less official.

17 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

I think it's great that you are letting your kids find their way to faith in their own time.

And that's one heck of a beaver in your backyard! Cool.

witchypoo said...

The only church I was brought to when I was young was a Pentecostal Church, and I freaked out. I sought out other churches when I got a wee bit older. Kind of sized them up, if you will. My younger son has done the same.

Molly said...

Great attitude you have. I took my kids to church when they were young but it never really clicked. Each one is spiritual, but not "religious" by any stretch. The nuns would say that I'll pay for my lackadaisicalness in the next life! Now, that time you had watching the beaver, communing with nature and your harum scarum boy---good as twenty trips to church.....

Suse said...

I am so excited that you have a beaver in your back yard!

Suzanne said...

I'm more lackadaisical. When Gameboy was younger, we attended church, but he was too young to grasp the concepts (or the fact that Mom and Dad were the only couple that were opposite sex).

It's important to teach the golden rule, the love and respect for each other and nature than to make them sit quietly for an hour. The time will come.

Suzanne said...

I'm more lackadaisical. When Gameboy was younger, we attended church, but he was too young to grasp the concepts (or the fact that Mom and Dad were the only couple that were opposite sex).

It's important to teach the golden rule, the love and respect for each other and nature than to make them sit quietly for an hour. The time will come.

motherbumper said...

Dude, I saw your beaver.

Oh wait, when it's a post about religion so I suppose that means I'm going to the hot place for that comment, eh? But Jess, I mean, you know I can't resist.

MaryP said...

I grew up in a Brethren church where there was no ordained clergy, and yet we managed to have weekly communion. I guess if head office says you can't, then you can't; who officiates is a matter of policy, of course, not theology.

When my kids were younger we deliberately sought out churches with a good kids' programme. Now they are teens, none of us attend much at all, and of my 3 kids, I have two spiritual/Christian ones and a mostly-atheist. Good thing I don't believe in hell...

We live a block from a river, and I share with you the delight of seeing critters up close. Just amazing! (And to my mind, enjoying nature is (or can be) a spiritual event.)

kimmyk said...

I tried to make my kids go to church when they were little-bad idea. Lots of crying lots of screaming...not healthy. I have since decided to let them choose when they feel the urge or nudge to be surrounded by HIM. Good for Rosey and her desire to connect.

And hey, I like the new colors around here-nice and warm and cozy. Good feelings!

jbondsgirl said...

Okay, this is horrible for someone who practically knew Koine Greek in the womb but when I was in youth choir and they passed communion do you know what my chdhood best friend and I called it? BatMunchies. As in, same BatChannel, same BatTime. We ate the BatMucnhies and giggled.

Sorry, Jesus. I like to think I became a less profane adult.

xo
Flicka :-)

Loth said...

Wow, I have never ever seen a beaver in real life. You have the coolest wildlife over there. (We have birds. And bats and rabbits. And the occasional hedgehog. That's pretty much it.)

Chantal said...

I am severely lackadaisical about my religion. I need to decide what I want to do about that.

mapsgirl said...

I witnessed first hand what forcing your child to go to church does to that child. My brother stopped going to church around the age of 16. The number of kids in the church had started dwindling and his interest faded. The minister didn't do much to peek a teenager's interest. My parents would fight and fight with him to go. Then it all stopped. He stopped going and they stopped fighting. He now (age 31) goes to church when he's home but I'm not sure he's even thought about taking his child to church.

We, on the other hand, attend fairly regularly. There is a HUGE Sunday School and lots of activities for young families. It is just the loving community I want my children to be a part of.

We too go to a United Church but the kids are downstairs by the time the Communion rolls around so we haven't had any questions yet.

Don't worry about being lackadaisical. If they show interest, let them go. If not, I'm sure they start connecting with their own spirituality (whatever it may be) as they grow older.

meggie said...

I love reading your posts!

Nadia said...

Super cool beaver. And how neat to have him in your backyard!

Magpie said...

My sister recently had to take her three year old to a Catholic mass (funeral) - he said "I want a snack" too.

Steph said...

Am I a horrible person if I say that "Love Feast" sounds kind of, well, dirty to me?