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April 23rd, 2010 | Author:

I’ve written before about the friends that I’ve made here – and it seems like every time I turn around I have another story that exemplifies that wonderful group that we’ve found ourselves a part of.

Another case in point:  two days before TheKidlet’s birthday party, DaHubby and I realized that, because of various reasons, she had TWO kids (out of six invitees) say yes, they were coming.   This, after having to cancel the original date because she had the stomach flu.

We had opted for a party at Michael’s craft store and I was saddened for her that there would just be the three of them.  AND…. three 9 year olds?  An odd number of girls is a Recipe for Disaster.  I talked to my bestie, CK, about it and she simply said “You know what to do.  Activate the phone tree.”

I texted GH, CC, and JO – and within four minutes, LITERALLY, she had five additional children coming to her party.  They had a ball, TheKidlet was thrilled, and I called birthday party number nine a success.  Consider me moved to tears repeatedly by these women.

As an aside, I highly recommend Michael’s for parties.  Not expensive, they do everything, and it’s all over in three hours.

After the party, it was Game Night at GH’s house.  There were new people there, out of town guests.  Our kids …. all upstairs playing, the new kid decided to either hit or kick each child present at least once.  The five year old was hit in the face with a shoe.

Our kids?  Locked him in the bathroom.  Now, of course I don’t condone vigilantism in any form, and they have all been reminded that getting an adult is the proper course of action …. but really, when the kids aren’t around, there are high-fives among the adults for the fact that our kids all worked together to take care of a problem.  And warm fuzzies that we know our kids all have each others’ backs.

And lastly, a rant:  we get together for breakfast on Fridays when we can.  We have a favorite restaurant, a favorite waitress, we each have our favorite meals.   This morning, we met for breakfast:  CK, GH, KSC, and myself.  A rare treat these days with my new work schedules, but we made it happen.  Talk this morning was tame, comparatively speaking.  We noticed early on that there were kids behind us and that probably tempered our conversation, however subconsciously.

GH has health problems, medical issues that are treated by a top team of doctors and that require medication.  She discussed the medications briefly at breakfast.  We walked outside when we were done, and there was a note on GH’s car.  This note basically said that her health issues are a result of the things that she says.  And then referred her to a church’s website.  WTF?!?  Who says something like that – something so judgmental and yet so cowardly?  I mean if you’re gonna sit in judgment, do it openly; don’t leave an anonymous note.   I sincerely hope that the entire congregation of this church isn’t as moronic as this person, or there’s a group of people who are cranky from trying to live up to an unattainable ideal of perfection.  Sigh.  This is why I don’t belong to a church and have a dislike of organized religion.

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November 24th, 2008 | Author:

So TheKidlet goes through spurts of being curious about God and religion.  Which is normal, I suppose, but given that we don’t really participate in our religions of choice (DaHubby and TheKidlet are Jewish, I am not) sometimes we aren’t really sure what to say to her.

Like, why does WhatsHerName down the street go to church every week but we don’t go to temple every week? We’re slackers who like to sleep in on Saturdays, that’s why. And why doesn’t mommy go temple? Because Mommy isn’t Jewish. Well, what IS mommy?  Mommy is…. well, Mommy isn’t really anything.

Which of course leads to The Kidlet asking DaHubby, out of the blue – “Why isn’t Mommy anything?”  Once DaHubby picked himself up off of the floor, because his child asking why his wife is nothing strikes him as very fucking funny for some reason, he manages to ask her what she means.

“Well, she isn’t Jewish, and she isn’t Christian.  Why isn’t she anything?”

Out of the mouths of babes.  How do you balance wanting your child to have a good religious education (see above about slackers) and sincerely believing that organized religion is the root of all evil?  Is it possible to even balance such things?

Before you ask why …. I promised DaHubby when we got married that our children would be raised Jewish.  Of course now that he is solely responsible for that religious education, he is re-thinking that promise, but as I’ve told him, I’ve had too many tearful, rage-filled conversations about how, while we participate in the secular meanings of [insert Christian holiday here:  Christmas, Easter, etc.] that we don’t really believe in the religious background of the holiday; and yes, dear, the Easter bunny will still leave you a basket even if you don’t believe that Jesus was the messiah – he can’t back out now on that or we will never be out of debt paying the therapy bills.

Anyway, so this is the deal.  My first church as a child, we had a quiet, fairly mild-mannered pastor.  I swear he wasn’t a Baptist.  My “other” church – the church I attended in the hometown of my parents  – was a Baptist, of the southern variety but not Southern Baptist.   But he may as well have been.  The man was (and still is, I’d wager) a wonderful guy who laughed a lot and was a good sport.  Very smart.  I spent a lot of time at his house with his daughter who was my age and one of my best friends growing up.

But put that man behind a pulpit and he would literally scare the sin out of you.  He yelled, he screamed – the kind where he spit all over the first five rows and his holy saliva was the kind that would wash your sins away.  He yelled about hellfire and brimstone, and I promise you that he scared me enough almost every sermon that I was running up to the alter in tears to repent whatever sins my nine year old self had committed.  There were others who followed this style of preaching in my later years, but he was the first.

For years, after first learning about revleations, I couldn’t hear a low rumble in the distance – thunder or whatever – without having at least a momentary panic that the rapture was happening and I was being left behind.  I would strain to hear the trumpets, as some sort of confirmation that “OH CRAP, WHAT DO I DO?!?” and I would rush through a repentant prayer, as if that last minute confession and begging for forgiveness would mean that God would go “oh, that’s right, out of all the people in the world, I forgot PAM – bring her up, Peter” and all would be well with the after world.

Interestingly, in the nightmares I had about a post-Revelations world, the people who were taken up in the rapture resembled this guy  – as in their souls were taken up and left flat, lifeless, screaming bodies running around or just kind of crumpling to the ground, and I don’t know, I guess the rest of us were left to clean up the mess left behind of millions of soul-less, flat corpses lying around all over earth?

Anyway, after all of that, and after seeing and experiencing hate and bigotry and intolerance, all in the name of God and religion, I spent years being agnostic – cause if there was this God and he was vengeful and influenced our lives, how could he allow mere mortal men to invoke some of the crap that goes on in his name?  Yeah, I know, it’s not a new conundrum.  But it was mine, and there it was, and I spent a lot of time questioning a lot of things.

And like so many before me, I couldn’t discount the reality of a higher power, despite the …. I don’t know, illogicality of it all.  But I revert back to my childhood, and Pastor Ted screaming about hellfire and brimstone and OMG WHAT IF I’M WRONG?!?  So, I’m too scared to not believe in God.  But I don’t have to believe that God wanted churches to be what they are today.  Seems to me that when churches were out of control in biblical times that God came in and smited them, but don’t quote me on that, it’s been a while since I read that particular passage.  But I can certainly think of a few churches that could use a good smiting.  Heck, I think the world in general is due for a smiting on the level of Sodom and Gomorrah.  (Okay, come on – HOW FUCKING COOL WOULD THAT BE?  The selfish bastards who God said were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.” We got those today.  Put them all in one city and SMITE THEM.  I want just ONE newscaster to say “The city of Podunk was filled with assholes today, and in a fit of rage, God did smite them.  In related news, peonies all over the world bloomed out of season.”  Or even just say smite.  No one uses the word smite anymore, and I think that’s a damn shame.

OK anyway, so we finally told the kidlet that Mommy believes in God but she doesn’t like the way that some of the Christian churches are run.  And that Mommy thinks that believing in God, and praying, and being a good person are the most important factors, religion-wise, not what label you put on your beliefs.

I’m not sure she gets that part yet.  But my guess is, given that she is so much like me in so many other ways, that she will get it eventually.

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