Might soon be time to face the fire....
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02-11-2013, 08:52 PM
Might soon be time to face the fire....
So tonight it happened.

Time for bed, time to read a book beforehand. He chose one that my parents got for him that I hadn't read or even noticed before. It's a book based on the alphabet and heavy on the jesus. I read the title and quizzically looked at my wife, she just said, "oh it's one your parents gave him, it's about morals".

Morals, okay that's cool, so we lay down in the bed and I start in. A.

A is for "ask God". I keep reading like everything is normal, he's three and it's never come up insofar.

"Who's god?" he interrupts.

I'm silent. I have no idea what to say to my three year old that would even come close to his level of understanding of the concept, even though he is a pretty sharp little shit. My wife just squeezes my foot and walks out of the room.

"God is......."

"Where's god? Who is he?"

"God is everywhere........" (I don't know what else to say)

He then comments on a ladybug in the picture and I say something and quickly turn to a benign page, read a bit of it, start asking other weird questions about pictures and it's forgotten and done with.

But I was floored. I'm not ready. He's heard the term "god" now a few times, and he knows that it's a term that means something. And when he hears it, he wants to know about it.

Here's the thing for those who don't know me well, my dad is a preacher and my mom is more religious than he is and I'm completely in the closet as an atheist. This shit is coming to a head, what with thanksgiving and christmas coming and all of the references of god that will be made and I don't have an explanation for my son and I sure as shit don't really want to explain to my family why I can't tell my son that god is real and yadda yadda.

I'm a little freaked out right now.

Thanksgiving and christmas might go off without a hitch. He might not say a word, but that's not like him. He wants to know about everything all of the time and he's not shy about asking. I think it would be very telling if I had to explain to him about god in front of my family.

Tonight it became very real that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing or how to handle this.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 09:03 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
You may be able to buy a little time by going with this route...some people believe that god is....it's not a lie.

He is a little young still to have to go too far and certainly doesn't need to end up in the middle of a family pissing contest. If you say that some people think this or that...then you just have to prepare yourself for when he asks what you think. Hopefully he won't ask till after the holidays.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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02-11-2013, 09:09 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
(02-11-2013 09:03 PM)Anjele Wrote:  You may be able to buy a little time by going with this route...some people believe that god is....it's not a lie.

He is a little young still to have to go too far and certainly doesn't need to end up in the middle of a family pissing contest. If you say that some people think this or that...then you just have to prepare yourself for when he asks what you think. Hopefully he won't ask till after the holidays.

Honestly, I'm not scared about him. I know how I'd like to handle the subject with him. When he's old enough to handle the concept I'm fine with talking about it with him.

It becomes touchy because what I tell him now will most likely be repeated to my parents when god comes up. And it will come up.

If I tell him nothing and hide all references of god from him, I set him up for being inquisitive at an awkward moment with my family. I'm not ready for that.

I'm just not sure the "some people believe" line will hold up. He is very sharp, and he is very inquisitive.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 09:13 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
Just a suggestion. That's how I handled it with mine till they were old enough to start asking deeper questions about where I stood on the topic. Along the way all three attended many flavors of churches with their friends. I let them decide for themselves.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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02-11-2013, 09:23 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
That's exactly what I did when my 9yo was 3 yrs old. I explained some people, like Grandma, believe in God. Can't see him or hear him, but they think he is there. (answer all the questions that wee ones ask after dropping that bomb, lol).

The conversations were always honest but in a way that explained it like a story. There was never any conflict when it came up around other people (namely believers) because my daughter exhausted all the questions with me.

The story of God DOES exist, people DO believe and it is a part of history.

We had occasional goddy-god books around from gifts but I weeded them out or maybe they're still in the bowls of the basement somewhere. I can handle a story, but not an indoctrinating teaching tool like your ABC book. I kept a children's bible with photos displayed front and centre always (back then). It was as real of a story as any other fairy, mermaid or superhero book she had beside it. My daughter opened it a few months ago and was horrified it was a children's book (she opened to the story of cain and able and the murder scene and now she can actually read instead of just look at the pictures, ha ha). She was practically laughing but was weirded out a bit.

One day at a time.
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02-11-2013, 09:25 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
My son has asked me questions about god and I just explained it to him as best as I could. But we're isolated from other family. Yanno?

When you read to him...don't worry about the words. Just look at pictures with him or use the book to play I Spy.

Are you more worried about him asking your parents and possibly outing you?


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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02-11-2013, 09:32 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
(02-11-2013 09:25 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Are you more worried about him asking your parents and possibly outing you?

That's exactly what I'm worried about. I can handle my kid, I don't have any clue as to how my being "outed" to my parents will go.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 09:34 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
(02-11-2013 08:52 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  "Where's god? Who is he?"

"God is everywhere........" (I don't know what else to say)

Good response. Thumbsup

(02-11-2013 08:52 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Here's the thing for those who don't know me well, my dad is a preacher and my mom is more religious than he is and I'm completely in the closet as an atheist.

Don't understand this closet atheist thing. Girly never rejected my parent's Southern Baptist religion, what I rejected was some untenable bullshit promise of a postmortem preservation of identity. They still don't know what to make of me. I like it that way. Big Grin

(02-11-2013 08:52 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Tonight it became very real that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing or how to handle this.

Sounds like you're fathering the same way Girly did. You just roll with it brother, let it roll baby roll all night long. I run with my gut and keep my eyes on the road and my hands upon the wheel. Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.
Big Grin




As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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02-11-2013, 10:09 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
Girly.....love you brother. No homo.

Been talking with the wife tonight. I think you all are right. There is no avoiding the subject, so letting it present itself and talking about it is the safest way to deal with it at the present moment. No use ignoring it, that would only set up a more awkward situation if it would come to it during the holidays.

I can explain (in the simplest terms I can) the concept of god and that grandma and grandpa (and everyone else in the fucking world) believe in it, while still being ambiguous about my own personal thoughts. I hope that can wait until he's a bit older.

Tell you the truth, after a couple of minutes of talking about it he'll probably get bored with the subject and want to hit me in the face with ironman. But at least he'll have some knowledge of the topic. This way, if it does come up in front of family, it won't be so brutally obvious that I've been raising him as a littleheathen.

Wow, short thread. Thanks guys! Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 11:26 PM
RE: Might soon be time to face the fire....
(02-11-2013 10:09 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Girly.....love you brother. No homo.

Well, it'd be easier if you weren't so attractive. Blush No homo. Big Grin

(02-11-2013 10:09 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  I can explain (in the simplest terms I can) the concept of god and that grandma and grandpa (and everyone else in the fucking world) believe in it, while still being ambiguous about my own personal thoughts. I hope that can wait until he's a bit older.

That schedule's up to him. I promised the Catholic Church not to interfere with my kids' Catholic upbringing, I didn't promise to lie to them. "Hey Dad, what do you think of heaven?" "The promise of some postmortem preservation of identity is completely untenable bullshit Son."

(02-11-2013 10:09 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  This way, if it does come up in front of family, it won't be so brutally obvious that I've been raising him as a littleheathen.

Look at you, all worried about being outed for being rational and reasonable and shit. ... fucking pussy. Tongue

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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