Monday, January 14, 2008

Too random for an all-encompasing headline

On Sunday we took Allison to church for the first time. I've written before about how I'm not particularly religious, but I'm certainly not opposed to exposing our daughter to the teachings of the Bible.

Besides the fact that it's good basic knowledge to have, you never know when it might come up in game show trivia. And if she's ever a contestant and it's the difference between $100 thousand and $1 million? Well, then that alone could be worth spending a few Sunday mornings under a steeple.

Jokes aside, Jerry and I have been talking about attending his family church more regularly. You know, more than just on Easter. I like the strong sense of community it provides, and it would eventually give Alli an opportunity to interact with other kids her age.

We discussed it in the car on the way over, and I realized there really aren't any downsides. The only hesitation I have is that I want her to grow up knowing that there are thousands of different religions around the globe. And one isn't more right than another.

In the meantime, I'm not adverse to exposing her to the Presbyterian faith. Frankly, having not grown up with religion at all, I almost feel like an outsider at times. Even in my profession, where religious stories come up on occasion, I struggle to edit them for errors or even write headlines. I always have to check with someone more knowledgeable on the subject to make sure I don't screw anything up. Like the time I wrote "TGIGF: Thank God it's Good Friday" over a picture of a little girl carrying a cross and the entire congregation sent hate mail to my newsroom.

In my defense, I didn't know what Good Friday stood for and it was my first year on the job. But, in hindsight, receiving hate mail from Christians was quite interesting.

But yesterday, my biggest worry was what to do if Alli started screaming right in the middle of the service. Fortunately, it fell during her regular morning nap and she conked out on her grandmother for the first half and her aunt for the second half.

She was so good that Jerry and I decided to press our luck afterward and go out to lunch. It was the first time taking her to a restaurant just the three of us, so we were more than a little freaked out at the prospect of a meltdown.

She stayed asleep long enough for us to place our order, then her eyes shot open when she realized she was still restrained in her car seat. And she didn't like that. At all.

Plus, she was hungry.

So, I figured it was now or never as far as breastfeeding in public was concerned. Fortunately, we were seated in a corner and the tables closest to us weren't occupied. Even better, our waiter was male and gay and awesome, and it didn't seem to bother him in the slightest.

Sure, it felt more than a little strange at first, but I covered myself with a blanket and simply got over it. No big deal. She was quiet, I ate with my other hand and it felt like a major success.

But the highlight of the day was a completely superficial one: Allison looked TOTALLY ADORABLE in her pink polka dot dress.

And every time I straightened her skirt, I couldn't help but love the fact that we had a girl.



Randall said...

What a lovely family! Nick and I were both raised going to church but don't go now. We've both agreed this is something we'd like to incorporate more when we have a family... I think it is a great foundation for children, both socially and spirtually.

Anonymous said...

And even if you aren't "religious" there are definitely advantages to going to church. It's a great place to develop a connection to the community, like you said. Plus, you may find more spiritual fulfillment there than you might expect. Also, as a college student, I can definitely confirm your desire for her to have some biblical knowledge. I grew up in the church, and I see it as a major academic advantage, such as in English classes interpreting the many biblical allusions in literature.

Janice said...

Aw you three look adorable! I'm sure with you as her parent she will know about all sorts of will just have to drill it into her head like my mom did with "if you get A's and B's, colleges will PAY YOU to attend." Good luck!

Ashley said...

such a lovely family photo!!!! You look great, and Allison is as cute as ever!!!!!

Tiffany said...

She is adorable, and YOU look fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

"TGIGF: Thank God it's Good Friday"

Haha, I dunno, I found it funny. But maybe that's just the atheist talking.

Suzy said...

dressed on little girls are just so sweet!! I love the family pic, you all look great!
And church is always a good thing I think, even if it's just for socialization..for baby..and for Mom and Dad.

Ray said...

Beautiful little family you got there. And you look great. =) I think it's great that you and the family are going to church. I also hope on those Sunday's that you do go to church, that you get more than you expected and that you actually start to enjoy it. It's nice to go for your child, but it's good to want to go for yourself as well.

On another note:

WHOOOOHOOOO for Allison being well behaved in a restaurant! That's awesome. And also great that you felt comfortable breastfeeding in public.

Take, care.

Marina said...

Have you read any Sam Harris? You may want to pick up "Letter to a Christian Nation" or "The End of Faith" before you get more involved in the church.. Just some food for thought. :)

CHelsea said...

Thats so cute! Church with babies is either a hit or miss, you're either thanking God that your child is asleep, or asking for help from the big guy. Do you plan on getting her baptized (I totally feel like I spelt that wrong)

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Silverwolf said...

Every pagan nerve in my body screams out, nooo!!! But then, it's your baby, and even I have to admit, Christianity has cranked out some pretty good people. :) Besides that, religious groups really do provide a good setting for socialization and sense of community. Good luck!

Random Neural Firings said...

Ah, Kelly. You mentioned religion...and probably offended a third of your readers. I'm just glad you and Jerry and Allison are going to church. And I've found that church just might be the safest public place to have a crying infant. Whenever a baby makes noise at a church I'm at, the reaction seems to be, "Awwwww, poor little cute, adorable baby."

tossedrice said...

you have a beautiful family.

cece said...

I thought the whole Thank God its Good Friday was funny.
Love the family photo.

jsi said...

Magnificent picture!
I believe all people have spiritual questions and uncertainties, and nothing seems to bring them to the surface the same way parenthood does.
Continue to search for the spiritual answers to your questions and uncertainties.
God is working through every situation of each day.

Hate mail from Christians - not a very loving circumstance at all.

I bet hardly anyone knew what was happening in your remote section of the restaurant. When accomplished discreetly, public breastfeeding in a modest manner is non-intrusive, non-offensive, a very natural response to a hungry tummy and a calming action between mom and baby. Good to hear your plunge into public nursing went without a hitch.
Embrace and enjoy your day and kis that little one again and again and again.

the plainsman said...

All the plusses have already been identified, none of which precludes learning about and respecting others choices of worship, comtemplation or non-worship.

It helps round out (to use an ancient term) an individual and gives them a perspective into others lives as well. Plus many offer good opportunities to learn giving assistance to those less fortunate, which is a huge lesson.

Ps. That headline gave me a good laugh as it was obviously unintentional and awkward for the situation; another reminder from above that us humans are not perfect!