Such As It Is

My grandchildren are noticing more frequently that Muri and I do not share their religious faith.   Papa drinks coffee, Savy will say.   Nana doesn’t drink coffee, she drinks tea, Maddux adds.  And Reed wraps it up with, Nana and Papa aren’t Mormon.  But they’re still our Nana and Papa.  The coffee’s always fascinated the kids, since there isn’t any in their house while Papa’s house has that noisy coffee grinder and the coffee maker that gurgles.  Can I help make your coffee, Papa?, they ask.  Even though their parents insist that I don’t have to hide my coffee, letting them help seems wrong, so I don’t.   This year, Christmas is on a Sunday, so they will have to go to church on Christmas morning.  My daughter says it would probably be easier if we went along so the kids won’t complain too much.  In my formative years (approximately 1-60), I was curious as to what went on in other religions but these days, not so much. Still, we will probably go just to help out.   It’s not as if the kids think we go to church regularly.  You don’t go to church, Maddux announced out of the blue on Thanksgiving, as if it were a news flash.

That started an interesting conversation.  We tell the kids that Mom is Jewish, my daughter said.  What should we tell them you are?  That’s a difficult question I could answer in a number of ways.  When adults ask, I usually say I’m spiritual but not religious but that’s hardly an answer for kids … they’d only ask What’s that, Papa? and I can’t even explain it to me.   Saying I’m a member of the Church of the Holy Curmudgeon would probably sound snide and annoy my daughter, although I think it’s cute.  Saying I’m a Twelve Stepper would make the lids think I’m on a dance team and leads to Why, Papa? … which I don’t care to explain.   At the end of my Morning Pages, when I make my gratitude list, I usually include Faith … then add SAIISuch As It Is but grandkids need something concrete and I don’t want them to think Papa is a heathen.   I was married Jewish and raised our kids that way.   Temple Beth Sholom carried us through some of our best and worst times.  I study the Kaballah and have started reading The Bedside Torah three times a week.  That’s close enough … OK, kids, I’m Jewish SAII … just plain Jewish for short.

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11 Comments on “Such As It Is”

  1. Great post, shared it on my Facebook page and subscribed. We might have peace on earth if all espoused your beliefs.

  2. I’m spiritual but not religious too. And, you’re right. That’s impossible to explain to children!

  3. marjulo Says:

    I think you solved your problem, at least for now. In a few years in might be more complicated when your grandchildren are older, but that will probably be when they start searching too.

  4. territerri Says:

    I think you’ve got the right idea for the kids. You’re doing what works for you, but it doesn’t fit inside a standard box. With kids, simpler is probably better.

  5. Great post. Sometimes we make it too complicated, the label is less important than the connecting with what is important to their lives. Peace to you and yours this season. 🙂

  6. Rick Gleason Says:

    as a young convert I share in your daughter’s faith Bud, but grew up among a lot of coffee drinkers. Many of my friends today are as well. Some drink and a few smoke as well. I can tell from what you share with us that you’re a good man, a good parent and a great grandfather.

    Far better than the Church of the Holy Curmudgeon your Jewish faith SAII has served you and your family well.

    Even when your grandchildren have grown to adulthood and despite the religious differences nothing will change between you and them. Only their love for you — and you for them — will grow ever deeper. You have much to look forward to!

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