I’ve been muddling this for awhile, but I feel like I need to address it on my blog. I am a huge fan of Mayim Balik’s blog Kveller: A Jewish Twist on Parenting. They have great insights into the Jewish faith and the basics on raising good kids. Sure, Mayim has some interesting takes on child rearing – baby wearing, nursing until they ask otherwise, etc – but I take what I can and leave the rest.
Am I Jewish? Nope. Is S? Well, kinda. He was raised Jewish and I was raised Catholic. What do you get when a Jew and Catholic get hitched? A Unitarian. I won’t bore you with the principals of our new faith, you can check it out at UUA. But I assure you, we are not a cult full of unshaved pot smoking hippies worshiping blades of grass (or Satan). Okay, moving on.
So there was an interesting blog on Kveller a few days ago about a family who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. At first I thought it was a nice story, and much like what our home does, but then I got to the comments and OH THE HUMANITY! Especially this gem:
<i>Both my husband and I are Jewish and somehow our children are quite respectful, understanding and appreciative of other people’s cultures. We are also quite multicultural in our approach to the world. Fancy that. What we have done is given our children a firm foundation in their own heritage and provided them with an underpinning that will last their entire lives. A child needs direction in this world no matter how much she is taught to respect both of her parents heritages.. The question for the author is what is she doing about that? A person cannot be both a Christian and a Jew, even if that Jew decides Christmas is OK because Jesus was a rabbi.</i>
Look, we joined the UU church because community and a sense of belonging was important to us. And we want our child to know that Bubbe and Pop-Pop are not wrong in what they believe and neither is Grandma and Grandpa. Hell, we might even throw in Diwali and Ramadan into the mix. I feel like if we are giving our children SOMETHING to grasp in this world they will be okay. How would it be fair for me to ask Sam to compromise his beliefs so our child can have SOMETHING to believe in. That will breed resentment and that’s not good for a kid either, right?
We are all doing the best we can. Just wait until you meet my UU kid – he will be respectful, appreciative of other’s cultures and have a firm grasp on right and wrong. Oh. And a hectic December with all the tree trimming and menorah lightings.