That’s how I answer most questions, by the way. My hope is that she’ll get distracted and forget to ask by the time she’s old enough to parse the answer. It’s a stupid hope, because she forgets nothing.
When she was older, I tried to explain about the fecundity of spring and the idea of nailing a man on a cross because his ideas made some other people really angry. I’ve explained about resurrection, as well as how methods of determining death back then were unreliable at best. I’ve also been sure to tell her the joke about St. Peter, the meaning of Easter, and the groundhog, which is way too long to cram into this column.
With some holidays, I tend to wander off on tangents about commerce and the worship of money, like when the Yuletide rolls around. I top off the lesson with making them watch Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, because it is about generosity and love, as well as jug bands.
I tend to pick and choose among the other observations based on sheer whim. For example, because I like latkes, they’ve become part of our December holiday celebrations. I make them during Hanukkah, usually serving them with applesauce, sour cream and bacon.
By now it should be abundantly clear that teaching my kids about religion, which is a topic they ought to know a great deal about given how it drives a staggering amount of what happens in the world, should not be left solely in my hands. Ergo: church.
They are not the sole reasons for hauling ourselves out the door on Sundays, however. The other reason is that I’m selfish.
Having kids, for me at least, has been a constant reminder of how fragile we all are. Bringing a life and then another one into this imperfect world makes you realize how quickly it can change.