Feb. 14, 2008 at 10:14am
(but not for me!)
The Man steadfastly asserts that Valentines Day is a non-holiday. Of course, yesterday when our kid was deprived of her first class party due to the religious beliefs of one kid, that same Man was outraged, how could such an important day in a kid's life go unnoticed? Especially when the rest of the school was running around wearing pink paper hearts and sucking on candy? Well, the kids in her class did a potlatch, I replied, to which he uttered a couple of duck-rhyming expletives and said something needed to be done about church boy.
Okay, I'm irritated about that situ, too, in point of fact. I pretty much figured the Halloween Party would be a "Harvest Party" and I pretty much figured that Christmas would be neutered down to "Holidays." But, wait. Because of this kid, the classroom had to be sanitized of *all* holidays, no stories about Christmas trees or animals being kind to each other in a show of seasonal love.
When I went in and read "The Mitten" to the class, a Ukrainian folk tale about a bunch of animals who all pile into a mitten on a snowy day, said kid raised his hand and told us all that in the Kingdom after the world ends lions and lambs would play together. I sorta' smiled and nodded and went, mmmm, the same way I would have if some kid told me a transformer's name and its special skills, and asked a question of another kid, more story-related.
Then, I was midly amused. Now, I feel like this whole situation is kind of ridiculous. He can take up my time (and my kid's) telling me about his Kingdom, but he can't spend 15 minutes getting heart cookies and random scraps of paper saying "I choo choo choose you"? To add insult to injury, the kid is coming home with all kinds of questions about church-- why don't we go? What do people do in church? When can we go to church? It's put us, as a family, in an odd and uncomfortable spot, but one I suspect we'd have to be in eventually.
If you couldn't tell, we're not very churchy people. The Man has never, ever been churched, as his mom is a pretty clear athiest. My own religious past had me taste-testing religions rather like one would ice cream at Baskin & Robbins. We did a bit of Catholicism, a bit of Lutheranism, a very brief stint in the Mormon church, quite a long foray into Southern Baptism, and then a couple of side forays into Unity and the random mega-church-ism of People's Church and Life Center.
The thing that I noticed universally was a sense of... disconnect, between who most of the people were on Sunday, and the rest of the week. I noticed that there was a weird little sense of "we're going to Heaven, and we're the only ones going to Heaven."
But in the meantime, I always felt like there seemed to be a huge world division rather than unification that was more the message of many of the great, Godly men. That divisiveness, and wars, and badmouthing of others was all bad, and Good was supposed to be... not bad.
For me, I have decided, I like Good. I like to think, that if I most of the time do the Right thing, then my world will be a better place, it's just a sort of logical upward spiral thing. Smile at a person, they're more likely to smile back. Frown at 'em, and they certainly won't feel warm and fuzzy about you.
So I guess, it's kinda' coming full-circle to the beginning of this post. In order to *not* offend one kid (who probably didn't have alot of choice in the matter, vis a vis his religious belief) a whole bunch of kids missed out on "I like you" messages. Some rebellious wonderful ones brought in Valentines anyway (damn, I didn't, thinking they'd go into the trash or something) and the Kid was excited about that. The other kids in the classroom were mystified, quite a few other parents, upset.
So to make up for yesterday, the kid and I will bake cookies, make a special dinner, and create an extra-special, super-duper, be-all/end-all Valentine for daddy, who was kinda' saved to the spirit of a holiday.
Ironic, that the attempt to quell a thing can sometimes make it grow into something special, and bigger than it had been before.
I call that, "Good."
comments  | posted under family, Valentines, when schools go strangeComments
by jenyum on 2/14/2008 @ 11:16am
|We have a student in our class with a similar religious background. I appreciate D's teacher so much. She stuck to her guns and held "Friendship Day" which is more or less indistinguishable from Valentine's Day but without the saint's name.
The child in question still had to leave just as the party started, so as not to be negatively influenced by construction paper and candy, but I did notice a slight residue of crumbs around her mouth as she left ;) It's probably easier in her class than yours because this little girl does not seem terrible gung ho on a personal level.
The party was at the end of the day, so she didn't miss anything but the party. Maybe the parents can get together and gently suggest to the teacher that she work something out so that any future class celebrations happen at 2 pm and this little boy can be picked up or sent to the library if he isn't able to attend. Sounds kind of mean to the kid, I know, but this is the life the family has chosen: no holidays, no birthdays. It's not like he's only going to experience these issues at school.
A was in a hip hop enrichment class this fall, and her teacher had to re-choreograph their whole routine and scrounge for another song that didn't mention holidays at the last minute, because otherwise a student would not be able to participate. They ended up dancing to "Hot Chocolate" which isn't even a hip hop song.
by jcbetty on 2/14/2008 @ 6:42pm
|??!!!! The hip hop enrichment class re-choreography thing just sounds..... Bizarre. Let's consider much of the subject matter of much of music. That's not offensive, but reference to the holidays, is???
I was hoping that the "hey, bud, you get to go to the library" thing would happen, with the class, but alas, it didn't.
musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.