Our New Trend

“Give me your tired, your poor…”
Whoops! Wrong statue! Or is it….dum dum DUUUUUUM

“Enough with the bossa nova already!”  Lori hit pause on my Brasil Pandora station.  Gilberto Gil; Bebel, João and Astrud Gilberto; Jorge Ben Jor and the like had become 24-7 guests in our house after Lori put her foot down on my 24-7 show tunes station.

“We really need to diversify the kids’ musical palate, doncha think?”

I shrugged.  Right now, my default music setting was bossa nova…and since Nick already belted “Clang clang clang goes the trolley.  Ring ring ring goes the BELLLLLLLLLL!” any time he rode his bike, I considered my work on that front complete.

“Fine.”

“He’s not a Glee kid.”

“Not yet,” I muttered.  Come hell or high water, one of these kids was going to be musically inclined.

I think my plan is working.  These days, Nick’s most common objection to being dropped off at camp is that “we’re not done listening to Mas Que Nada!”  I hadn’t set out to create musical omnivores; that’s just the environment they’re growing up in.

It’s the same with religion – we’re cafeteria Catholics, both of us long-term products of Catholic education.  We still have a relationship with the church despite its ongoing efforts to sever its relationship with us.

Of late, I have been on a Jesus kick.  Yup, he is just alright with me.  It could have something to do with watching The Tree of Life, a movie that vaulted top of my top 10 – past The Decalogue… and Green Card.  Or maybe it’s the bedside reading – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff and Unholy Night – both of which I heartily recommend.  The first made the laugh, and want to read more about potty-mouthed angels; the second made me cry, and made me want to read more about vampire-smoting presidents.

Even though summer in the Catholic faith is laaaaaaame, and the churches aren’t air-conditioned, religion is having a renewed – though not an overt – presence in our lives. In passing, I’ve been recounting scenes from Lamb to Lori:

“So Biff and Joshua, aka Jesus, meet up with these Buddhist monks after they’ve been hanging with this demon guy.…”

And somehow the kids have picked up on this.  Nick has been carrying his children’s Bible around the house, as has monkey-see-monkey-do Gabe.  Though Gabe has, in classic little bro fashion, trumped Nick in the historical reenactment department by insisting that he wash everyone’s feet in the house…even Olivia….even our dog, Skippy.

I never thought the words, “put that Bible down and finish your breakfast. God can wait,” would pass through my lips, but behold, they have…to which Nick has responded, “But I’m not done reading about Noah!!!”

The kids will rebel in their teen years – we all do.  But at least this way I’ve given them something to rebel against.  The same with music.  They may venture into electronica, Punjabi dub or whatever new-fangled thing the kids are listening to these days.  They may even shave their heads, join the clergy, or just commune with the Great Spirit in their home-made labyrinth.

It won’t really matter.

There was a great description of religious belief in The Sun a few issues back: each tradition is a spoke on a wheel.  They all lead to the Source.

(Duuuuude….pass the dutchie…)

Whatever path our children choose, they will always find their way home.

P.S. Yes, I’ve become a cliché – a middle-aged black woman who reads religious fiction.  Saints preserve us! 
Dang it! Now I’m apparently Irish too.

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