Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Talk With Mom

"Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing." - John Erskine

I think I see a challenge.

Yesterday I had a conversation with my Mom.
Now, this happens often, but what made this one different was that it was about important, "deep" things.
We talked about life, death, religion, parenthood, childhood, and lunch (that's for irony) without either of us getting angry or upset or yelling at each other. And furthermore, I didn't lie once- because that often happens in religious conversations with her. I go into them expecting wrath, so I lie to avoid it.

But this conversation was very nice. 

Usually I have difficulty getting her to talk about anything remotely philosophical just because she doesn't think about it much like Dad and I do.
But while we were playing disc golf yesterday morning, I asked her how many parenting books she read before/soon after I was born and she said none, and we went from there.

I mean, yeah, every kid is different, so no book can tell you what to do, but I would have read at least 5, ignored most of the stuff in them, and then at least had some idea of how I wanted to raise my child.
She went by more of the observation route- how she was raised, and (since Mom and Dad lived with them for a few months before they bought our house after they moved from California) what things my aunt and uncle did.

I explained to her how I don't really understand the sacraments of communion and baptism. I get what they are and what they mean, but there's so much hype about it. Apparently they're more important than I realize. My relatives are shocked when they find out our church doesn't have communion at every service (they alternate from weekend to weekend), and I don't understand why you have to be baptized to go to heaven.

I know lots of extremely nice people who have never been baptized. They're compassionate, empathetic, and (almost, because "only a Sith deals in absolutes" - yes, I've been watching Star Wars this weekend) always put others before themselves. Why should they go to hell just because they haven't been washed with holy water?

The father of two of my friends believes religion is a choice, and they have to choose whether or not they want to be baptized. Their mom is worried they'll choose not to and that they won't go to heaven.
If they choose not to, it won't be because they hate God or anything. It'll be because they don't think it matters, so why bother? They're not evil. 

I've been baptized, but it doesn't mean that much to me. It's just something that happened when I was a baby. It was more about my parents and godparents than it was about me. 

I don't feel the power in these sacraments. I never have. So I told Mom this and she said it was okay that I didn't. She said nobody knows what comes after death and religion is just a way of dealing with what life throws at you.
I was internally gaping. This is what Dad tells me about religion.

She also said that the only time she's truly felt the presence of something supernatural was when we were driving up to NY for my grandpa's funeral and got a flat tire. A fireman's brother knew some guy with a garage and called him...or something. It was a long chain of events that were terribly convenient. I don't remember it very well, because I was barely 7.

I guess I learned a lot about my mom this weekend. It turns out she's not that much different than me.
I also learned some about my dad. He's not always right about my mom.

I may take this post down later due to its personal nature, but for now, here you go.


  1. This made me smile. I can't explain why, but it did.

  2. Good. Smiling is good for the health. And laughter is good exercise.

  3. This was sweet :) having unexpected heart-to-hearts is always a lovely experience! Also, yayyyy for understanding parents! (even if only momentarily)!


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