8 is a good age for an existential crisis.

2 Feb

I’m Catholic. My husband is Jewish.

We tend to bumble our way through the various holidays with lots of family and food and jokes and total avoidance of deep religious matters.

When we had our daughter, neither of us was particularly religious. I believe but I just don’t go to church much. (and I think all consenting adults should be allowed to be married to another consenting adult and women should have control over their own bodies) We decided to raise our kids as both and neither, which has really turned into nothing. 

It seemed so “right” at the time, but now, I feel really lost.

I grew up with faith. I was baptised, had my first communion, and was confirmed. I went to church and Catholic school. I questioned a lot of things but it came from that Catholic perspective so when someone died, I could rationalize where they were.

My daughter recently asked me “why am I here?” and I was like “in the room?” and she’s like “no, here, in the world”. 

Um.

So I told her she was here because she was, she IS, wanted. I told her that her dad and I wanted her so badly and we are so lucky and happy to have her.

And then I told her that God brought her here for us.

How can you know that? How do you know if God is even real. There is no proof.

There is proof. YOU are proof to me that there is God, I told her.

That’s not real proof, mom. 

Faith isn’t about holding something in your hand, it is what you feel inside. Can you see love?

No.

But you can feel it, right?

I know you love me because you give me kisses. But that doesn’t explain why we’re here, why I’m here and where it all comes from.

Ok kid, where do you think the world came from?

Space.

And where did space come from?

Clouds.

And where did the clouds come from?

Nothing.

And where did nothing come from?

Ok, I got it – light.

So some people call the light God, and others call it light, and some call it nothing, and some have other names. It doesn’t matter where you’re from and what religion you have, a lot of people and societies believe in similar things with different names. I love you, I want you, go to bed.

What. The. Eff?

I clearly skated my way through that one. I really had no idea how to explain things because the fact remains there is no proof and you can’t make someone without faith be faithful.

And my kid is clearly a genius.

I used to think that I was put on this earth to do great things and the minute I saw her, I knew, I KNEW, that my purpose was to be the mother of the person who would do great things and be great.

Plato said that you can’t conceive the many without the one.

Alexandra, your greatness is why you are here.

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2 Responses to “8 is a good age for an existential crisis.”

  1. Joanna February 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Very interesting post for me 🙂 I was raised Catholic and my husband is Jewish Israeli. All holidays celebrated at our house. This is how I feel: http://workingmama.ca
    Perhaps I’ll refer to your post when this type of conversation comes up with my daughter.

    • jexalt February 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      I think families like ours are slowly becoming the norm, especially in our area. I loved your post (and your post about daycare/nanny).

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