Friday, March 28, 2008

Raising Secular Children: Part 2

My daughter is just over 2 years old now. She is picture perfect, as doll-baby as a little girl can look with big brown eyes, a tiny chin and mouth, and the Japanese cartoon girl look that her mother has given her. She is very talkative at this age, and beginning to understand counting, spatial relationships, colors, the alphabet, you name it. Today, she sneezed and in the most adorable little high-pitched mimicking of adult language, she said "bess-yoo".

I can not help but laugh, she has done this a few times now. I of course realize that she does not know the meaning of this, but it is a great example of how our society promotes this behavior and begins the programming early on. You see, she no doubt got this from our daycare provider.

We have only been with this woman for about 4 months, but in this time our daughter has made leaps and bounds in language skills and word meanings. Her knowing that sneezing requires a "bless you" is new, she doesn't get it from her family. The provider is pretty good, and a necessary evil for my wife and I to live in our beautiful home and enjoy a higher quality of life. So yeah, we're greedy, and my wife is not a "housewife" at heart... she wants to work to a large extent.

So we have daycare, and we are at risk of Christian indoctrination of our daughter. I am not afraid. I chose to allow my son to make his own decisions, trying my best not to let my beliefs be obvious. I allowed him to challenge religions (why do people kill each other over religious beliefs? which leads to "who's right?). I refused to tell him what I believe outright, but I will say that you should consider all the options and take away the good concepts from all of them (although a disproportionate amount of the good comes from eastern philosophy religions, not the partisan sectarian contradictions of sky-god religions). My son told me almost voluntarily a while back that he doesn't believe "any of it". My twelve year old does not think he is going to heaven when he dies, and he is OK with that... he does believe in ghosts still. That is much more believable than gods, devils, arcs, prophecies in his eyes. I don't take that away from him, some of the most fun I had as a kid involved what I thought to be supernatural occurrences.

Hell, he is still young, and may embrace Jesus or Muhammad when he is 14, then worship the devil when he is 18 (why not? the devil is way less evil than sadistic bastard Yahweh, and maybe he can turn it into a sweet death metal career). Meanwhile, I will giggle and wait when I hear my daughter say "bess yoo" in her adorable little perfect girlish voice.

Children and work are my immortality. Parents are gods in the eyes of children, there is no more real god than that.

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