I’ve been blessed with a few experiences these past few weeks that have been a bit of a wake up call for me. My daughter, who will be 4 in November, has been very observant of books I have laying out that I use as references to my daily Goddess blog and statuary I have around the house on my altars. She asks questions, as to who They are and I explain that they’re Goddesses. She likes to look at the images and say, “Oohh, nice Goddess!”
She’s also been very observant of my acts of devotion and thanks to the gods. Whenever we bake together (my daughter, 2 & 1/2 year old son and myself), we always make wishes and stir love into whatever we’re baking. Then, whatever it is, when it comes out of the oven, I set a cookie, a muffin, the first heal of bread aside – as an offering to bring out to my outside Sacred Space, showing my love and thanks for the blessings the gods have bestowed upon me. Offerings of beer, wine and other malt beverages are quite frequently made as well.
Last week, my daughter asked me what I was doing as I was leaving a heal of bread in one of the fairy offering dishes and I explained to her that I was offering thanks and love to the Goddess and the gods for the blessings they have given me. She then asked for a piece and if she could leave some. I broke her off a piece to leave and she said, “I wish for love. Momma, is that a good God wish?” I almost shed a tear right there…out of the mouth of babes…It quite possibly was the cutest, most innocent and blessed thing that I’ve ever heard. I said, “Yes baby, that’s a beautiful God wish.”
Then, yesterday, I had given both of my kiddies bananas as afternoon snacks as I was getting things set up for a forthcoming garage sale. I found her outside in my Sacred Space breaking off a piece of banana and asking if she could leave it as an offering. Of course, I told her yes, it was fine and she offered it with her God wish of love. My son, watching, decided this was a good idea and ended up “offering” half his banana into my fountain. My daughter and I both got a good little chuckle out of that.
To be honest, I’ve been stressing over the issue of religion since I found out I was pregnant with her. My husband was raised a Southern Baptist and comes from a very deeply religious and Christian family. He is however, from what I can tell, very much against organized religion for his own personal reasons that he has not confided in me. He can’t stand the holidays and wasn’t too big on the idea of me bringing the kids to Sunday School at the Unitarian Universalist church when we were in AK.
As for myself, I try to explain concepts to her about Mother Nature, the cycles of things (i.e. nature, seasons, etc.) and their significance and instill respect for the Kindreds of fur, feather, scale and fin int them. Even though I’ve been a practicing Pagan for 8 years, I still feel as though I’m kind of new to it still and really don’t have an idea how to raise a Pagan child as I was raised Catholic, Methodist and Episcopalian myself. I have a few good books that I feel I NEED to read: Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill; The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith; and Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. I’m also trying to balance A Dance with Dragons (yes, I’m hopelessly addicted to Game of Thrones) for pleasure reading and The Solitary Druid as part of my reading and writing for the Dedicant Path with the ADF.
I do believe it’s time however. As much as I’m sure he doesn’t want her exposed to organized religion, she’s starting to question and deep down, there’s a little part of me that doesn’t feel “qualified enough” to teach her about the concepts of deity(ies) – I think it would be different if I were dealing with an older person, someone who already had an “understanding” of deity. She’s going to be exposed to all kinds of religious ideas and concepts when she starts school (mainly Christian) and I want her to have a healthy foundation. She’s going to need to have knowledge of the different religions and spiritual followings, as will my son for that matter, while being raised in an Earth centered religion.
So my plan of action – read, read and read some more. Check out the local UU church and their Sunday school program. The kiddies will be tagging along with me to the next two High Day celebrations at the ADF Grove I recently started attending as my husband will be away at school that the military is sending him to. Finally, meditating and using my intuition to guide me along the way…