A Question of Belief
Regular readers will be aware of the on-going saga of our “difference of opinion on the god issue” with our son’s Catholic, state school – namely they believe, yet state that it’s all very benign, meanwhile I sit and stew about my innocent child being brainwashed by a dogma to which we as a family most definitely do NOT subscribe.
One week before the annual Parent Teacher meeting, I happened to have a conversation with my son about saying what you felt, saying “you need to say what’s important to you, because people can’t read your mind.”
“But god can” – he retorts, quick as a flash.
“Where did you hear that?” – I demand – knowing the reply before it comes
Cue fuming mama, planning careful speeches to approach teacher with one week hence.
The day of reckoning arrives. We talk reading books and my son’s general lack of interest in the inane reading matter he is sent home with. She is suprised to hear that a child isn’t riveted by it.
We talk reading ages and maths skills. I brace myself to bring up the dreaded subject. She gets there first.
The colour drains from her face, her voice goes quiet and slightly shaky. “There’s just one other thing I need to talk to you about. There have been complaints…”
My mind races. Complaints about my dear, gentle, sweet boy?
“From some other parents. He’s been upsetting the other children, going around telling them that it’s not true… we thought maybe he was getting it from home…”
“No”, I stammer, earnest in my need to please, “we believe, we’re making sure he believes too, though I’ve overheard him rationalising the improbabilities of it…”
“That’s OK so, because it’s really important that they all believe…
For flips sake! I daren’t mention to her that in circles that I hang out in on the blogosphere that Santa is “bad”. It might have given her a heart attack. He might have been kicked out of the school. It seems they can tolerate non-belivers in the god thing, just. But not Santa. That’d be a weirdness too far.
So I brought up the god thing. Tit for tat! She was understanding – said the priest had hotfooted it of the classroom the other day when the children started bombarding him with questions about what happens when we die.
Belief – a thorny issue. Adults are weird, it has to be said. But as long as we all believe in Santa then it’s all OK!
Postscript: We took him to see Arthur Christmas this weekend just to ensure a thorough indoctrination!