One of the things I am most grateful to my parents for, is the fact that they never forced any one religion on me. Growing up, we were not made to read the bible, or go to church weekly, but neither were we forbidden from it. I attended church many times with various friends. I knew of Christianity, I knew the stories, and I guess I kind of believed by default for part of my childhood just because I had never sat down to think about it. When I was about eight years old is when I knew, with out a doubt, that those stories were just that, stories. I didn't label myself an atheist (openly and proudly) until well into my adult years, but I knew I was one.
When I had children of my own, I knew I wanted to give them the same open freedom of religion that I had while growing up. Although my kids have never been to church, (they have been to Buddhist temples) they know of god, because our society is saturated with religion. They know of heaven and hell, angels and the devil. They both have told me that they believe in god, and I have never tried to discourage that. But neither have I hid the fact that I do not believe in god, heaven, hell, or angels. We have had open and frank discussions, and always have I left my children free to find their own beliefs.
Last night I had an interesting conversation with Nico. He tells me, "By the way mommy, I'm religious now." It kind of caught me off guard because it was so out of the blue. I asked if he knew what being religious meant, and he said yes. So I asked what makes him think he is religious now, and he said because he no longer believes in god.
"No, no, no honey, you're confused. Religious is when you do believe in god, and you follow a specific religion, adhering to their tenets and following their holy text. I think you mean you are atheist now, because that is when you don't believe in god."
"Oh, yeah, I'm an atheist now."
"So what makes you think there is no god?"
"I just don't see any proof anywhere."
"So you've been thinking about it, and looking for proof?"
"You know I was about eight years old when I realized that I was an atheist."
"Well I'm just under that."
Here's the thing. He's only seven. He has a long life to live, and many, many more years to think and study religion. The significant thing to me, is that he is thinking about it, and coming to his own conclusions.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Nico absolutely terrified me last night. I was working, and I always keep my cell phone on silent while I'm working. Most nights I don't even look at it until I get off work, but last night was slow. I snuck into the bathroom and had planned on sending a text to my darling husband. Instead I see two missed calls from Home, and two new voice mails. Right away this sets off alarms. We never use our home phone, Timmy always calls from his cell. The first voice mail is only six seconds long, and all I hear is a bit of whimpering. The second voicemail is 47 seconds long. The first five or so nothing, then I hear Nico, in a scared, pathetic voice say "Please, pick up!" and then for thirty seconds it's quiet whimpers. OMG!! I was freaking out. It's 11:30 pm, and those voice mails were left at 9:45 pm. I was so close to running out the door, but I stopped long enough to call Timmy's cell. If he hadn't answered, I was out of there. But, Timmy picks up with "Hey Baby, what's up!" I'm like, "You tell me, is everything ok?" and I explain about the voicemail. Then I hear him yell to Nico, "You told me you didn't call Mommy!" I was like, what the fuck happened? So here's the story. The boys went to their rooms at 9, like they always do for "bed time". Timmy, about 9:30 took the dog out for a walk, and then stopped at the tennis court so he could run and stretch his legs for a bit. The boys, came out of their rooms, and I guess thought Timmy had just up and left them. So they freaked out, and called me. I don't know why they didn't notice the dog wasn't in the house either? Why they didn't just look out their window and see his car was still there? Or why they went out the front door looking for him, when it was locked from the inside and we always use our back door anyways? And at-least they called me instead of 911, and at-least I know they know how to call me if they need to. But I tell you what, I don't ever, EVER, want to hear another voice mail like that again! EVER!! *****UPDATE***** So the boys just confessed to me that they knew Timmy had taken the dog out for a walk. But when he didn't come back right away, they feared he, and the dog, had been eaten by an alligator, and that's why they freaked out.