I knew when we decided to raise the boys Roman Catholic, I was looking for trouble.
The Husband and I agreed on it before we were engaged, when we were planning our future together. So when the priest at the premarital counseling asked, we could tell him, without crossing our fingers, exactly what he wanted to hear. The Husband and I had debated it, and I promised my sometimes atheist, sometimes agnostic (depending who he was talking/listening to) husband that we would always be willing and able to explore different spiritual paths if our children decided they weren’t going to be Catholic.
Being raised as a laid back kind of Catholic, I was fully open to the prospect there were more ways to God than one. My father was Nazarene, and he was the person I went to for spiritual advice. I went to my mom for moral advice. My best friend from high school was Jewish. In college, most of my friends were D.O.C or U.C.C. or Wiccan. I took Bible courses so I could argue my beliefs with my Protestant friends. But I knew I had slipped away from being fully Catholic to some hybrid that no one could understand but God and me. So I knew I was going to have issues sending my boys to Catholic school or Sunday school.
I just figured I had a few years before I had to bite my tongue over the ridiculous of Original Sin. (If you want to debate this, just let me know. I personally despise St. Augustine and what he did to our beloved Christian faith. Jerk.)
We’re sending Tornado E to a Lutheran pre-Kindergarten. While I was a little nervous that the new director was a missionary for years and years in Mexico (Did I mention my Catholic family is so anti-converting, they don’t even convert their heretic spouses?), I assured myself that all they could teach four years olds was simple Bible stories and God loves them.
Until last week.
When Tornado E came home.
The Husband: So what did you learn about in school?
Tornado E: Jesus loves me.
The Husband: Yes, that’s right.
Tornado E: Jesus loves me and you and Tornado S-y and Mommy and everybody. I need to tell everyone that Jesus loves them. Can I go to all the houses and tell our neighbors that Jesus loves them?
At this point, I’m hyperventilating in the kitchen wondering if we still had to pay the rest of the tuition if I yank him out now or if I had to create a scene about teaching my four year old to apostatize. I bet I could get their goat if I compared them to Mormons.
The Husband: Well, Tornado E, I’m pretty sure everyone knows that, so why don’t we play cars instead.
Tornado E: Oh, ok.
Me: (whispering to The Husband) What are we going to do?
The Husband: He’s four. I’m sure he misunderstood. We just won’t let him do it. Though it would be funny to see him knock on doors. Where’s his Bible?
I narrowed my eyes. The Husband was taking this much better than I, and if I wasn’t so sure I was the Evil Genius in the household, I would bet he was enjoying this. Atheist.
Later I mentioned it to my dad, who chuckled. Obviously I’m the only one concerned.
Dad: Did you ever think, Fae, that they might have been talking about “Love thy Neighbor?”
Me: Of course not. Because that would be too simple of an answer and would mean I was freaking out for nothing.
Dad: Well, anything is possible.
I’m getting a new family.
And I wonder who is the patron saint of nonconverting.