letting go

This week Simon is going to a Vacation Bible School at my sister's church. Every morning, for about 3 hours. This is happening because my brother, who lives here in Bloomington (well, Normal, actually) is going to help out at the VBS, and offered to take Simon and bring him back. I accepted the offer because five days of free mornings was too tempting to pass up, and also because I didn't feel like having a conversation about religion with my sister.

This morning as he left, Nate and I were both feeling very nervous, questioning our decision. I know that getting Simon 'saved' is mission critical for my family, and I can imagine the alter calls that will happen during this week of VBS, having been to similar programs myself all throughout my childhood.

Still, I let him go. It was my decision... I guess I'm starting to face the reality that my family are evangelical Christians and that Simon will be exposed to their worldview throughout his life. So why try to keep him away from it now? It's just scary, in a way, to send him out into the world and not be in control of what other people want to teach him.

We might be fielding a lot of interesting questions this week. We'll see.

We had a great day in Chicago on Saturday. For those of you who came out to see us, thank you. For those of you we missed, sorry. We'll catch you next time.

This won't come as a surprise, but, for me, it was still heartbreaking to visit the city but not be a resident. It was especially emotional to spend the afternoon in Palmer Square, eating lunch where Simon spent hundreds of hours running, looking at bugs, drawing on the sidewalks. Those same sidewalks were the ones I walked to get my labor going when I was ready for Theo to arrive. Such memories almost made me cry into the picnic blanket, but being surrounded by old friends kept my spirits up.

It was a nice day, all in all. We need to get up there more. And maybe someday we'll get up there for good.


Oliver said...

Sorry we missed you on Saturday; it would have been great to hang out with you guys. I'm sad that we had alternative plans.

It's a tough decision for any parent to let their child go out into the world without being able to control what people want to teach them, but I think you are making the right decision. I suppose the best we can do as parents is to instill enough gumption and confidence in our children that ultimately they can make the right decisions for themselves. And hopefully if he can reach those decisions/opinions on his own and through his own research and understanding, these ideas will have stronger foundations.

But, having said all that, as a parent and atheist I would find this situation particualry nerve-racking.

ps; i have found the new blog.

Oliver said...

oh, and download 'letting go' by nitin sawhney. you'll like it,

Bonnie said...

There will be good, too, in the VBS. Crafts and snacks and I remember how you used to love that song Jehovah Jire. Or however it's spelled.
And I thought E & D were Lutherans. They have altar calls? I don't really know what you believe any more, but I do know how you feel about Simon going to that VBS. Stuff like that always wierded this Catholic out.

Maiasaura said...

Bonnie, my sister's church is Lutheran, and they don't normally do alter calls. But during an outreach program like VBS, I think such normal tendancies get thrown out the window. VBS is not so much about following tradition as it is about saving souls, by any means necessary.

And, undeserving of its own post but still funny, Simon came home saying this: "God is extinct. Jesus was eaten by dinosaurs."

Angela said...

A) Simon's comment above is HILARIOUS.

B) Laura, you're so one of the best moms/daughters/sisters ever, letting go of your baby as you have...