Religion takes on a whole new twist when there’s a baby along.
Telling a priest you're knocked up is no easy task. But just picturing my six-month belly on my wedding day was enough to convince me to come clean - and fast. The truth is, it had me shaking in my boots. What on earth was I going to tell the man? Well, Father- let's see... it all started when we skipped that darn birth control
. Hmm... not a good plan now was it?
For my hubby, it was a complete laughing matter, 'They've already got us going to the marriage classes - what more could they ask for?' he joked. 'Besides, I thought you Catholics were meant to have big families. Just tell him you were getting a head start!'
Thankfully, my revelation wasn't quite the ordeal I'd anticipated. If the priest had hugged me any harder, I'm sure baby would have happily popped out there and then. I left the church with a spring in my step that day, imagining what a lovely little Catholic my boy would be.
They say religious disagreements can put a dampener on the best of marriages. So, it was a good thing my hubby and I got that sorted out straight from the start. There was to be one condition for our son growing up Catholic - and that was for him to be an Arsenal supporter.
As a die-hard Chelsea fan, you can imagine I found this a little unfair at first. But then again, having both my boys on an opposing team was a small price to pay.Religion for my toddler?
What I didn't get before my little monster came along, was what a tricky task I'd set myself. It hit me the day of his Baptism, when I realised I didn't know quite where to start. I mean, how DO you introduce the topic of God
in the first place? Granted, at two months, I may have been starting a little early but it definitely made me realise I need some lead time!
Since then, I've had all sorts of crazy thoughts running through my head, like how I'm going to explain Easter bunnies in relation to Christ rising from the dead. And do I portray Santa as one of his buddies? The two worlds have to co-exist somehow, don't they?
As for the Bible, I've been considering covering the juicy bits first and leaving the really tough stuff for the Sunday school to tackle. Take Jonah being swallowed by a whale or David and Goliath. Both have the makings of great animated blockbusters. Revelations, on the other hand, is a tad 'higher grade' for my little brain to handle - let alone his.
And while Mommy trundles off to church with Junior, Daddy will be the one teaching him about Evolution. That's all well and fine– until the questions start coming. I can just picture it already: 'Mommy, which kind of apes were Adam and Eve'? or 'Was God a fish like we were, in the beginning?'
The truth is, you never know what you're going to get. I know a father whose son left him gobsmacked recently, with an innocent - and completely understandable - question: 'Dad,' he asked, '...'if we're going around drinking Jesus' blood, doesn't that make us vampires?'
It's a pretty daunting task, sharing your faith with your child. In fact the performance anxiety is killing me already. What I do know, is that no matter what we do, we'll be finding his own way in the end. And while he may be growing up Catholic I can just see him ending up a Hare Krishna Man United fan, just to spite us...What have you told your children about religion?