Being a parent is hands down THE coolest privilege I’ve ever had. It’s also the one raising Miss Clairol’s stock at an alarming rate. What’s Amy’s First World problem THIS week, you ask? Confirmation classes. As I recall, my Grandma was dragging kids kicking and screaming to Confirmation class. Not MY kids…mine are begging to go. I should be happy, right? Wrong.
Just home from a 10 hour work day (Monday, at that), stuffing unhealthy food into my face as I let the dogs out before heading to skating lessons (and the MANDATORY Parent Meeting), I receive a text from my daughter’s Dad. “Abbey wants to go to Confirmation class. It is 7pm Sundays. You okay with that?” I’m normally a pretty even keeled person. PLUS, I should be HAPPY my kid wants to do something wholesome, such as Confirmation. However, I lose my shit. I sit down, cursing and defeated, stuffing the last of the Nestles Toll House pie in my mouth, and fire off a helpless response: “Ugh! Hockey games, skating, social life, why the hell not?!” (At this point I’m sure he’s remembering –and thankful for – why we’re exes).
I’m not upset my daughter wants to get Confirmed. Well, that’s sort of a lie. Geez, maybe I should be the one getting Confirmed. Bureaucracy – that’s what I’m in a kerfuffle over. Can’t a person be spiritual and good without going to class? Does going to class (or church) make us better or more spiritual? Is it right that I’m going to have to commit my entire Sunday to church, hockey, and Confirmation class instead of board games and family? Is it Christian to not forgive ONE absence? To humiliate and guilt a kid and punish her by making her wait a year to make her Confirmation (I’m speaking from a friend’s experience here). Is it right my 14-year-old is afraid she’ll never be able to get married if she doesn’t do this right now?
We’re so tied up with school work, school functions, practices, games, sleep overs, birthday parties, and entertaining (movies, bowling, skydiving – kidding). When is enough enough? When do I get to move to my cabin in the middle of 500 acres and home school my kids and have a small farm? When do I get to teach them the IMPORTANT things in life like gardening, cooking, caring for animals and each other? When do we have time to saunter in the woods, identify birds by their calls, feel cool creek water running over our bare feet, observe chipmunks playing on a hollow log? When will I cook a meal at HOME, sit around the table, and not be slinging Happy Meals at 60mph? I want my daughter to skate…on a back woods pond under the moonlight by a bonfire. I want my son to play hockey…on a small mountain lake with all of his friends. I want my kids to feel like the good, kind hearted people they are…without a church having to tell them this is who they are. I want them to get married someday (if they’re feeling that crazy) without the burden and guilt associated with all the churchy red tape.
My Grandma and Pepere (and probably a great number of friends and relatives) will disagree; but I feel strongly that our closest connection to a Higher Being is found in nature, not in a stone cathedral. The teachings nearest and dearest to our hearts happen in everyday life through connections with our families, our elders, and our peers. I’m fearful life has become so over-run with “stuff” that we’re not taking time to pass on significantly important skills and values.
When did I lose the connection to church I was raised with? When did my belief in one Catholic God waiver? What happened to “Little House on the Prairie” church? An entire town piling in on a Sunday morning to hear the preacher’s sermon, hanging around having pot-luck lunch together as the children played because they actually ENJOYED it? I feel as though church has lost its true meaning. Soon we’ll have drive-thru confessionals with an atoning wafer and a splash of holy water as you speed off to commit your next sin.
I digress, I do that a lot; it’s not ADHD, it’s the result of having 8 million thoughts in my head at any given time. Let’s promise to each other right now that we’ll slow down, take time to breathe, hug our loved ones (I haven’t seen my 90-year-old-Grandparents in MONTHS, and we live 10 miles apart!), walk in the woods, go fishing, and tell our children stories about how wonderful their hearts and souls are ❤