Saturday, April 17, 2010

By way of introduction...

I am an American-Jewish woman. I am happily married to a no-longer practicing Catholic man. Together, we have four wonderful children. Before we were married; before we had children, we had "The Talk." In this case, The Talk didn't involve anything exciting like who gets to sleep on the left side of the bed or favorite sexual positions. No, this Talk was all about the Big R. Religion.

I have always had Religion to a certain degree. I didn't always actively practice, but I always believed. I always identified myself as a Jewish woman. I went to temple when I could, and even as an adult (before children) had a fairly regular streak of attending services. As an adult, my attendance was sporadic, but I did attend. Okay, enough justification of why I do or don't attend services. I was supposed to be explaining about the Talk.

The husband and I had the Talk about Religion before we got married. Our religious affiliations were not a secret. In fact, they only presented a minor bump in the road of the wedding plans. We couldn't be married by a priest because I wouldn't convert, and we couldn't be married by a rabbi because he wouldn't convert. We were married by a Unitarian Universalist with a generic ceremony. The bump was barely felt.

Oddly, we had a moment of forward thinking. That is, we discussed religion for any and all children that would be created by our union. We discussed this BEFORE we were married. Well before we were even ready to have children. That Talk went something like this: Him: "What will you want to do about religion when we have kids?" Me: "Well, in my religion, the children are the religion of the mother from birth." Him: "Okay." Me: "I'd like to raise our children Jewish." Him: "Okay, but you have to do it." Me: "Okay." And then we went out to dinner.

So, maybe the Talk was not all that in depth or forward thinking. Maybe we didn't cover all the challenges that could occur in an interfaith marriage with kids. Maybe we didn't cover how hard it can be to be a Jewish kid in a small town. But the fact of the matter is, I really believe that children need to be given a religious identity. They need to be grounded in a faith when they are young. Not really an indoctrination, but a basic knowledge and faith with which to grow. Luckily, my husband agreed. Or was too lazy to put up much of a fight.

Fast forward to present day. We have four wonderful children who start to ask questions about G-d.  I figure there is no better time to start searching for a Sunday School to help me answer those questions. And that is exactly what I did. Little did I know that I would end up being as involved as I am.

I am not sure I am complaining about my involvement. I kind of like being involved in my children's education. I always wanted to be a teacher. But, this may be the only way I get to be a teacher. And, I am not only involved in the teaching aspect of the Temple, I am also active in Services and on the Board of Directors. I am sure, if this post site goes the way I expect it to, these topics will come up once in awhile. For now, I will conclude this mini-introduction by saying that I am a proud Jewish woman, married to a wonderful Catholic man, who fully supports me with our decision to raise our children in the Jewish religion.

I am one lucky mama!

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