A Family Resemblance Beyond Blue Eyes
About a month ago, I shared (along with seven other bloggers) how tradition plays a role in the faith of my children. These rituals and routines are so important as they forge their relationships with God and I’m so grateful for the experiences we are able to give them.
My husband and I are, of course, key in helping to build and foster our children’s faith. So much of what they learn and discover starts with us. We are the ones who answer questions and address concerns. We are the ones who help them uncover and explore beautiful mysteries. We are definitely primary… but we are not alone.
There are other people in my children’s lives playing very significant roles: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins– they’re all admired by and important to my kids. And their faith (or lack thereof) will most certainly spill over.
We are fortunate in that both sides of the family are Christian. We are not all Catholic, but that’s not an issue to us. In fact, at this point, we do not choose to make a big deal out of those differences. Our kids know we go to a Catholic church because that is our faith, but we spend absolutely zero time pointing out how other faiths might be “wrong”. There will, I’m sure, come a time when they ask questions and I’m ready and willing to help them sort through those. But our focus is on our commonalities, not our discrepancies.
For me, the most beautiful part of seeing the role of extended family in the faith of my children has come through cousins. My sister’s boys are altar servers and my children love to see them in the front of the church, assisting the priest, serving. They watch in awe as their cousin carries the large cross as the Mass begins. It’s powerful for them. My brother’s girls attend a Catholic school and they are full of nifty tid-bits and info. Our son, in particular, loves to ask them questions. And when the kids are all gathered at the “kids’ table” in the kitchen with the grown-ups next door in the dining room? Without guidance, they all say “Grace” together, heads bowed.
They all share blue eyes, yes, but they definitely share something so much deeper and so much more important. It’s a beautiful thing to see that kind of family resemblance.