Wednesday, November 14, 2007

O Noes!

The kid is enjoying this 2 much!

Which is good, b/c she keeps getting witnessed to, and it is making me itchy. Her old best friend, who went to the local fundamentalist church, moved to Texas a few years ago; and her best friend after that was not religious (yay!), which is hard to find in these here parts; but that best friend had a mother in Iraq, and when, a few months ago, her mama finally got to come home, the new best friend and the best friend's dad moved, too, to where her mama got stationed, which wasn't here.

So now the kid has another new best friend, and this best friend I like a lot -- she and the kid are very nearly a perfect fit -- except for this religious bit.

The new best friend also goes to the fundamentalist church. (Half of Pork Smith does, it seems to me sometimes.) The new best friend witnesses to the other students, including my kid and the Muslim kids, at recess. My kid knows to get the teachers to tell the best friend to stop, but other students won't, always. And I think sometimes my kid won't, either, because this is her best friend and she won't pick fights.

Now the church is having a membership drive, or whatever the shit it is called, and the new best friend brought invitations to school -- Jesus Invites You to His Party!!1! Food, Fun, Games, Prizes!!

With sparkles.

"Do I have to go?" the Kid asked me.

"Shit, no, you don't have to go." I paused. "Do you want to go?"

"No."

"Well, good, because I don't want you to go. What did you tell her?"

"I said my mother was an atheist and my father was Jewish and I'm Jewish and we're not interested in Jesus."

"Good," I said. "Good for you."

"She said that her church said to invite people like me."

"Yes, well, that's their issue. Not ours."

The kid looked doleful.

I sighed. "Look. It's not your friend's fault. Her church is making her do this, they're telling her this stuff. They're allowed to believe what they want. They're not allowed to try to make you believe things. And they certainly shouldn't be making her do it at school. That's wrong."

"I'm sorry," the kid said, even more doleful.

I pulled her in for a hug. "You didn't do anything wrong. You did everything exactly right."

"But I like Caitlin," she said sadly.

"I do, too," I said. "Just let her believe what she wants about religion, and keep telling her you don't want to talk about it. Okay?"

Which -- ai -- if only that worked.

Also, if only we lived somewhere where she wasn't getting slammed over the head by this ten hours a day.

1 comment:

j0lt said...

What great self-possession the kid has! Having friends espouse things we don't agree with is something most adults have problems with, let alone little kids.

This post, and others I've read today, are reminding me of all the things I've never taken time to explain to my kids (in part, b/c we fortunately don't live in quite so religious a community). Thanks for the reminder.