Bang Bang Bang
I had a package that needed to be mailed today, so Nico and I took care of it on the way to our play date this morning. I figured 10 AM on a Monday was a pretty safe time to go to the post office, but boy was I wrong. When we arrived there was a non-moving line of about a dozen people. We ended up waiting there for at least 15 minutes, creeping slowly through the line. Nico was squirmy so I risked putting him down. He actually did really well, sitting on the floor to play with his trucks and staying with me as the line moved. At one point he started rolling one of the trucks to me and asking me to roll it back. This worked a few times, then he overshot and the truck went several feet past me. A woman about my age in line behind us pushed the car back, and then continued to push it back and forth with Nico for a few minutes. When it rolled past her, she turned to the nicely-dressed older man behind her and said, "I guess it's your turn now!" and then he rolled the car back and forth with Nico once or twice. So many stories on the internet are about people being intolerant toward children in public, so it was a really great surprise to have people in a busy, irritating, long-wait situation be so nice to my kid, just for the sake of being nice.
Nico seems to be suffering from some sleep regression lately, and though I keep telling myself it's a phase, it's a phase, it's got to be a phase, when he wakes up screaming at 3:30 in the morning, it feels like this is never going to end, oh my hell, send help. He's been a good sleeper for ages, and usually when he does wake up a little Ferber-approved pat on the behind is all he needs to settle himself back down. For a long time, he didn't even need the butt-pats and would soothe himself to sleep within a minute or two of waking up during the night. Now, though, we're into the realm of crying so hard while I'm in the shower that he almost barfs before I get out and hear him and hurry to his rescue. And as we've discussed, anything that involves the potential for barf is not a-okay with me. I guess I'm not really going anywhere with this, just trying to remind myself that it's a phase (it had better be a phase) and on the bright side, at least if I have to go in and rock him back to sleep I get an extra limp-limbed curly-headed warm-baby cuddle.
I was singing to Nico after the aforementioned near-barf incident and reflecting that about half the songs I know for lullaby purposes are religious in origin. That got me thinking, and I couldn't seem to stop. I was raised Catholic but don't consider myself Catholic now, or even Christian. I don't have any specific life-changing story or reason, I just don't find church spiritually fulfilling or feel particularly connected to God when I'm there. I do enjoy the tradition of, say, midnight Christmas Mass, but I think that's more for the nostalgia and the memories of Christmases past with my family. MB was raised Christian but as far as I can tell his parents sort of bounced around between various denominations. Some more information that may or may not be relevant: almost no one in our immediate families goes to church, either. We don't pray before meals though grace is said before holiday meals with both extended families. We don't read the Bible or display religious things in the house or say bedtime prayers.
Now that I have a kid, I sometimes wonder if he'll miss out on something if we don't start taking him somewhere for church. I don't for one second believe that he needs church to be a good, moral person, but I wonder if (properly liberal and inclusive) religion would give him another lens through which to view the world as he grows. After all, as a friend pointed out, he'll never get all the Biblical reference in Shakespeare if he never reads the Bible. On the other hand, I went to a K-8 Catholic school, and I didn't get most of the Biblical references in Shakespeare, either. I still got an A in the class. I will admit another fear that I have: I'm afraid if we don't take him to church, he'll fall under the thrall of one of those creepy culty teen-proselytizing megachurches when he's a teenager. (It's not an entirely ungrounded fear; it happened to one of my cousins in high school, though she seems mostly normal now.) I suppose I'm risking preachy comments in order to ask if any of you out there are like us -- God-believing but not big God-in-the-home folks who don't take their kids to church -- and how you feel about the whole church / no church issue. I'm curious, is all.
Reading: The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore
Playing: Lovestrong by Christina Perri