Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Then he told his other grandma that God doesn't exist...

Our six-month stay in the U.S. is over, but we're not quite home yet. On our way back to Switzerland we're spending a few days with my husband's family in Holland. (My husband is French, but his mom is originally from Holland, and she's moved back to Holland to be near her siblings.)

I don't even know how the subject came up. I was reading a book (I know: bad, anti-social me...) when I hear my husband explain, "It's like 'God'." (I'm translating)
Mother-in-Law: Oh, you've talked to him about that?
Nico's dad: It came up during the trip.
MiL: (to Nico) You see, Nico, some people believe that God exists, and some people believe that God doesn't exist.
Nico: OK, well, I'm one of the people who thinks God doesn't exist.
MiL: That's OK, but your grandma believes that God exists.
Nico: OK.

And that was the end of it. As I explained earlier, we haven't really discussed the subject with our kids, but I imagine we will once we get back home. Leo hasn't shown any interest in the question -- too busy building things out of Legos.

10 comments:

Holly said...

would that all discussions about religion were this easy.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Holly!!!

So true! It's actually quite surprising how easily our mixed-faith extended family has worked things out, especially compared to the horror stories others have told. I just got done reading about what happened with Hypatia and Marcus this Christmas...

Xuxana said...

*claps hands* with glee!
You see? You see? Children are so chilled about the whole God thing. Why can't adults be?! I'm always so pleased to hear about how your kid 'deals' with the whole thing, by basically not dealing with it at all! No big deal! And that's how it is for my kids, with no pressure from religion :)

Marcus said...

I'm so glad your family was so peaceable about differences. Maybe I have to go through all of this crap so some day my daughter can have a frank but mutually respectable discussion with her grandmother.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Xuxana!!!

Exactly -- if the kids are raised without this question being a huge, hoary deal, then it isn't one.

Hey Marcus!!!

To be honest, I think that is exactly the case. It's the pioneer breaking new ground who has the most difficulty. The question of unbelief can't remain a huge, traumatic deal indefinitely. After a certain number of people have trodden that ground, it will become just one of those things that members of your family accept and understand about other family members.

When I was a kid, one of my great-aunts wrote a biography of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, and closed it with a paragraph about how wonderful it was that through gg-mother's influence, all of her descendants are faithful in the church -- and it was true at the time! But it is far from true today.

I saw the gradual change as the first few defections (me and my brother among them) were a horrible shock whereas now differences of belief are taken for granted.

the chaplain said...

...a paragraph about how wonderful it was that through gg-mother's influence, all of her descendants are faithful in the church...

I remember being at a huge family gathering years ago, I was in my late teens, when one of my aunts said something about how wonderful it was that most, if not all, of the family members were faithful Christians. Similar to your case, that was pretty accurate then, not so much now. The majority of my extended family members are still Christians, but the percentage is not as high as it was then. Several of us have rejected religion and, within the past year, we've begun comparing notes about our deconversions.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Chaplain!!!

Yep, same here!

Beat Dad said...

I had that conversation with my son when he was five and was having an argument with his Southern Baptist friend. They both decided that playing together was more fun than arguing.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Beat Dad!!!

That's a good resolution. :D

King Aardvark said...

Wow, that's much more civil than any discussion I've had about the same topic.

Yikes, where have I been? I didn't even know you were in the States for 6 months. I've got to check in more frequently.