I realized I might be neglecting my child’s religious education when she asked me recently if we could go to “cheech” on Sunday. The Carmelite Sisters at my Catholic high school would have cringed at that one. God and all things spiritual are definitely part of the dialogue in our house, but our weekly, or even monthly, schedule doesn’t involve attending religious services short of the occasional baptism or wedding mass.
Hailey attends a Presbyterian preschool, and while it doesn’t indoctrinate the children into any particular denomination, the kids attend chapel once a month and hear stories and sing songs about Jesus. I suppose I’ve lazily relied on these chapel visits as Hailey’s more formal religious education. After Hailey expressed her interest in cheech, we talked about Jesus for a bit. I asked her who Jesus was, what he did, what he looked like. She spun a grand tale of the son of God who was a super hero and wore a helmet and a cape. Not far off, I suppose.
One ritual we do practice is nightly prayers and expressions of gratitude when we put Hailey to bed. Hailey usually kicks these off with something simple: “Thank you, God, for my good day. I’m thankful for my teachers.” But recently, even this simple ritual has taken a strange turn. The other night, Hailey’s prayer went like this: “God, thank you for everything but I have a question: Why does Elsa freeze stuff so much? Why does she do it? Why?” We better get ourselves to cheech immediately.