Smoking, Vacuuming and Church
This has been on my mind for the past few weeks or so, so now you get to read about it. I was recently privy (still no sarcastic font) to listen to a person recount how their family, or more precisely their children, had fallen away from church and everything they did to try and prevent (ultimately cause) that. I also found a reason to repost this super sexy picture of Miss Hurley. I will explain in a minute.
When a kid gets around a vacuum or a lawn mower for the first time, all they want to do is use it. They want to vacuum every room, they want to follow you around the yard and mow the whole thing themselves, even though they can barely reach the control handle. They see you doing it and they want to join in the perceived fun. And who can blame them? As a child they look up to you. Obviously this applies to the way you handle yourself, but we are talking about vacuuming and lawn mowers, OK?
Your vacuuming or mowing makes the room or lawn look great. It’s where your kid plays and lives. This tool helps their quality of life, and now they want in on using it. And both are kind of fun, but more of a chore than anything else. That’s why we have kids so when they get old enough, they can do it for you.
I also recently saw an old movie where the little kid got caught smoking his dad cigarettes (this was the 50’s) and so his dad in a brilliant move (not sarcastic) makes him smoke the whole carton, not just a pack, so the kid gets sick and doesn’t want to touch them ever again. I laughed.
So the thing that has been rattling inside my head is this – Ever since I heard this person tell me how they just couldn’t fathom why their kids left their church, the vacuuming and smoking will not leave my mind. I think, nope, I know, that there are some insanely fanatic families out there that force religion down peoples throats. I’m not talking about going to primary or not swearing or learning to say gosh instead. I mean the people who call their religious leaders to hold an exorcism on their TV set because there was a gay person on Dancing With The Stars.
And after sitting back and watching this and thinking about it, your child wants to do what you do because he sees how you do certain things that improve their life. They see you making a difference. They want to mow the lawn or vacuum because you are helping out and making their environment better. Now I see the nutty religious fanatics as the parents that are forcing their kids to smoke the whole carton until they are so sick they can’t stand it. And after hearing this person say how they made sure they didn’t have certain friends, or watch or read certain things, or know about certain topics – They never let their kids make their own choices. You have most of the control over your kids, because you are the parent. But shaping a kids view on the world and especially faith comes from experience and examples.
I don’t know why this has been bothering me so much lately. Maybe it’s because religion is supposed to bring your family together, and I watched some families use it to tear theirs apart. Maybe it’s because the fanatics on every side ruin it for everyone else. What I do know is that after watching my oldest grow up lately, she has made the best choices on her own, especially when given the room to make them on her own. It just makes me sad to watch people lately use religion to divide and separate families rather than bring them together.