Our family is Roman Catholic, primarily, and that is the way we have decided to raise Michael. I do believe in and follow certain Buddhist tenets as well, and my husband and I in general keep an open mind about all religions and spirituality. My beliefs stem from my upbringing which was also a Roman Catholic one, but my parents and grandparents also had their own personal beliefs that they passed on to me. They taught me to respect all religious and spiritual beliefs, and that all paths lead to God. I continue to hold this belief today. Consequently, this also helped me feel comfortable exploring who and what God is. I have done and continue to do lots of writing, reading and thinking on the subject, in between the chores and obligations of daily living.
Today is Ash Wednesday. For those who are Catholic, it marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of fasting, abstinence and intense preparation for the Easter Season, which in the Christian church, is the biggest holiday of the year. Christians believe that Christ was crucified, died and rose from the dead, conquering the power of death so that one day all of us who die will only die in body. Our spirit will live on forever in Heaven.
Explaining our religious beliefs to Michael has had its challenges to be sure. And this whole season which focuses a lot on Jesus’ sacrifice is a challenging one for me and Johnny to explain to Michael. We already had him ask us questions about death, suffering, Heaven. “What’s heaven like Mommy?” We don’t know till we die and that’s far away for now. That’s the best answer I can give him so as not to frighten him.Some children he has met practice Judaism, some practice Hinduism, some have no formal or informal religious practice. I have talked to him that God is everywhere, in everything, and that spiritual buildings are God’s houses. Michael thinks it’s cool that God has several houses and can be everywhere. “Is God in my heart Mommy?” This was one of my favorite questions!
Exceptional Moms, how do you talk to your exceptional children about religion, spirituality and faith? I’d love to hear from you. And wish me luck for the Easter Season explaining it all to the rapidly curious, anxious mind of my exceptional little boy. We’re both on a journey, and like everything else in my life, I think God has put this Exceptional Mom where she is supposed to be. Until next time.