To religion or not, that is the question

Tomorrow I have the “Family Celebration” at the Kindergarten.  It is a holiday celebration where the kids will sing.  What I like about it is the fact that unlike many areas of our world right now they are not being told that religion is not alright.  Instead they are learning about different holiday traditions.  I am not exactly sure what the entire line up is for the morning since Madi has tried to keep some secrets but I know We Wish you a Merry Christmas, The Dradle song and a poem about Kwanza are on the list.

I read something earlier which made perfect sense to me.  It was in response to an article that I had read about prisons.  The person wrote that it was interesting that our prisons ensure bibles and other holy books are available to convicts yet we can not mention religion in our schools and maybe just maybe if we open them a little earlier  we would not have such a prison overcrowding issue.  Maybe and maybe not but interesting to think about at least.

At this time of year where every time I turn on the TV to see someone else offended over what someone has done or said, when we argue over Christmas trees or Holiday trees, I am not at all offended that my Catholic child will be singing the dradle song tomorrow or the fact that she thinks it is way cool that they get gifts for several days in a row.  Not sure when it happened or if I am just getting cranky in my older age but it seems that our once strong and proud country has really become thin-skinned.



Blurred lines

So as we grow older, much time is spent in wondering have we accomplished anything?  Will anyone miss me when I am gone?  Kind of morbid I guess but true.  I can not answer if people will miss me or not, but to the question have I accomplished anything, I think I have or at least I am trying to.  My legacy will hopefully be in my children growing into respectful, productive members of society. More and more today, I think we are way off course.  There is such a blurred line between right and wrong, good and bad.  Between the fight over religion and political correctness gone mad, I feel like we are loosing our moral compass.

I was not put here to be friends with my children.  I think many people have a differing opinion than I do on that statement. I figure that at some point in their lives they will hate my husband and I and that is to be expected if we are doing our job correctly. I am not afraid to say “No” and I really do not care what the other kids are doing.  We are not deeply religious people.  Although raised Catholic, I am totally none practicing but still steer my life along a strict code of moral and value based decision-making.  It is through this lens that we attempt to raise our children.

There was an attack in Chester PA the other day.  Six high school age girls walking down the street come across a mentally challenged woman sitting on her front stoop.  These girls proceeded to take out their camera phones and take turns beating the woman and filming the beating.  They cheered and took close up face shots of themselves high fiving.  They immediately posted the videos to Facebook and with in a day 4 of the six were arrested, the other two were by last night.  They are being charged as adults for several felony counts.  What did we see next?  You know it..the families of these “poor” girls saying how wrong it was to charge them so strongly and that they were just kids.  What in the hell?  Yes families, thankfully the woman is alright.  No, No don’t worry your animalistic girls thankfully did not kill her.

There is another video that has gone viral of a woman explaining that she is voting for Obama because he gave her a phone.  She proceeds to say that Romney sucks.  Well..there we go.  A well thought out rationale to take into the voting booth.  I am not going political here and hope everyone votes regardless on who it is for.  I would just hope that people would actually educate themselves on some issues and make an informed choice one way or the other, over 350 million people’s lives and futures depend on it.

Recently, In my opinion, it seems everyone wants someone else to make the though decisions.  People want the school to raise the children.  We want government to take care of us.  It just seems that everyone wants something. Lots of finger pointing and excuses but no self reflection.  What will our next generation become if we can not take charge of our own?

Me, the early years

When we were young, my mother wanted us to get the best possible education.  She wanted us to do better than she did in life. The public schools in our area at the time were not very good.  She went to our church  parish and asked for tuition help.  My mother was a Catholic born and raised.  We went to church every Sunday.  I never fully understood her belief since they felt she was a bad Catholic because of her divorce, but week after week we went. For the help with tuition,  we all worked.  I raked leaves at the convent, cleaned desks in the school over the summer and moved things between classrooms.

It taught me all an important lesson in life, nothing in the world is free!  If you are to succeed, the road is not easy.  If you are not willing to put your back into it, work hard, success does not come.  This is a lesson my husband and I are trying to instill in our girls.  It is tough these days with the media generation and immediate gratification.  We are able to give our girls many of the things neither of us had as children.  We often battle with the “what is too much” line.

In 5th grade they were a bit worried about me. I was a latch key kid.  Back then leaving young kids alone was not as frowned upon as it is today. I had a strong imagination. Idle time and I were not the best of friends. I had a wonderful teacher by the name of Helene Kunicki who kept me after school many days.  I would help her do whatever, clean out closets, move desks.  Spending time with her helped close the gap before my mother would get home from work.  She was a wonderful woman who through a simple act of kindness probably helped change the course of my life by keeping me out of trouble.

My mother ruled with an iron fist.  There was none of this “mommy friend” thing we see so much of today.  She was the boss. In hindsight it is easy to judge her but I saw a woman left to raise 3 children alone.  A woman limited professionally due to her own background and single motherhood.  A woman who battled cancer for 10 years.  It is always easy to judge when you do not have to walk in that persons shoes.

The rules in our house were clear!  If your grades were down there was nothing else, period.  By high school I had begun to excel and when I graduated college I did so on the dean’s list.

As I look back at how we were raised, I wish many things would have been different.  But such is life.  She was far from perfect but I am glad for many of the life lessons I learned . Those early years leave an impression of course but as time goes on each person must make a decision.  What type of person do I want to be?  What will I hold on to and what must be left behind? Will I allow the not so pleasant moments to be baggage or fuel to do better?

Life is all about decisions.