I’m not an atheist, but I don’t necessarily believe in God as it is presented in, say, Christianity or any of its factions. I don’t hold myself to any specific religion. I do not deny the existence of such a spiritual being-perhaps there is something like that in the world. But, like I said, I don’t believe there is a ‘guy in the sky’.
I don’t remember having too much of a strict spiritual guidance when I was a kid. I seem to remember Sunday school, briefly, around Kindergarten, perhaps. After that, it was not that prevalent in the house while growing up. I didn’t go to church regularly, although, sometimes I went with friends and family on special occasions.
By the time I was in my teens, I began to seriously question religion-specifically God himself, how people relate to the idea of him and the striking similarities between Christianity and other religions of the world in terms of creation stories, etc.
I wonder how this non-religion thinking will impact my daughter as she grows up. She who believes in fairies, gnomes and has been known to talk with Mary, Mother of God, on a regular basis.
I’ve never told her “there is no God”, but I’ve also never told her that there is some guy up in the clouds looking down upon us.
There is a rather beautiful statue of Mary down the street, next to the absolutely massive Catholic stone church. My girl seems to have developed a reverent relationship with this particular homage to Mary, Mother of God. It has been on our regular walking route on and off through the years. Every time we passed it, she would always request to stop and ‘see Mary’.
She’s been talking to this statue since she was small-maybe a year and a half or 2. I always wondered (and still do) what my girl was saying to Mary…and if anything was being said back. She once told me Mary would speak to her in Spanish. Recently, on one of our visits to the statue, I asked her if Mary still talked to her. She looked at me as if I should’ve known already, rolled her eyes a little, and replied , ‘No. She’s just a statue made of stone, Mom.’
I figure she can decide for herself about the existence of God, in whatever form. If she has questions, I’ll do my best to answer. If she decides to go full-on religion, non religious or somewhere in between, I’ll support that.
How do you/have you handle(d) your kids’ questions about religion and God?
About Kris Underwood
Kris Underwood is the Social Media Manager at Hunger Mountain (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Poetry has appeared in several publications including MotherVerse, mamazine.com and Poetry Midwest. I read books & write about them on my blog sometimes.