Yes, I said “beyond” religion. I am not a fan of the concept that there is only one right way, which is central to so many major religions.
I’m very much a freethinker in that regard, and I raise my kids to be freethinkers as well.
As a parent and as a homeschooler, I don’t want to shield them from the world–or religion. We approach religions of all sorts from a place of finding the commonalities, instead of focusing on the differences.
I also want to offer my kids the opportunity to be culturally literate in terms of religion–to think critically about the information they get from the world.
Most importantly, I want them to be in touch with what they feel in their hearts, and whether any form of organized religion speaks to them. I don’t view beliefs as something external that one should try to conform to, but rather, something that is already inside oneself, waiting to be discovered and given words to.
So aside from a huge dose of grief and loss, it’s very interesting that my intentions are indeed coming to fruition.
Quite rapidly, in fact–but as is quite often the case, there can be unexpected repercussions to getting what you ask for.
This story is rich and complex, and I want to do it justice as it continues to unfold in the days and months to come.
We have been busy this past two weeks, because (unrelated to the passing of my mother, although curiously timed) the decision had been made to move into my father’s home with him.
Over the past two months, his back pain has become crippling, and he can no longer take care of the house by himself. Once my mother passed, it was clear that he ought not to be alone for long, so we moved shortly thereafter.
When I wrote this, back in 2011, I had a major aversion to capitalizing things. Forgive me.
I think many parents tend to view their kids as an extension of themselves, as an embodiment of their values, or evidence that they believe/do/feel the right things.. but that’s not really healthy or fair to think of kids that way. Our children are unique beings from day one–or as Khalil Gibran puts it, our children are not ours.
If other people think that your child not knowing how to do fractions yet, or disliking their hair to be combed, MEANS SOMETHING NEGATIVE about you as a parent, well…let them think.
Their opinions of you as a parent or of your children do not matter.