We're back from a fantastic, well deserved vacation in Ocean Pines Maryland. Sean's youngest brother,his wife and son live about two hours from there. It was just what I had wished for. Lots of quality beach time and playing in the waves with Lola. Gibson loved the ocean but only in our arms with wave mist tickling his toes. I had more time to get to know my sister in law, who I've always know was a great woman and a devoted mom.
Driving back to Massachusetts was nothing short of hellacious! What Map Quest said would be a 7 and a half hour drive turned into a death rattle of 10 plus hours!!! Traffic was creeping by and we'd see the same irritated drivers with that "just wanna get home" weary expression on their faces. The kids were troopers, watching their DVDs, coloring, sleeping (Gibson), and playing with their stuffed animals. Gibson would hold Pup Pup up to the window and say "I see the pool!" whenever we would pass a body of water. He called the ocean the "pool" too!
We were navigating through New York, lower level, George Washington Bridge when the kids began to sing and make screeching noises together, trying to out decibel each other. Reading directions and making sure we weren't heading into Harlem was a bit dicey and we yelled at the kids to be quiet until we were out of the city.
Under quiet duress, Lola noticed lots of great buildings. She asked who made all the buildings. I told her people, architects, etc. I explained about blueprints and the machinery and bricks, windows, all the stuff needed to fabricate a building. She's often said she wants to be an architect or a rock singer when she grows up.
"Does it hurt when God makes people?" We were gloriously free from the sooty confinement of I 95 and on our way to I 91 when she asked this. "You know, when people are here, when they were born from God." Oddly enough, I never mention the word "GOD." Sure, when she tags along to Mass with the ending promise of a donut, she may have remembered a thing or two, but I usually speak in the "Jesus" lingo to her. The sweet, humble, young man who was the cute Italian ceramic babe nestled in the hay under the Christmas tree. The Jesus who is the Shepherd finding the poor lost baby lamb caught in the wicked bramble. The Jesus who is kind, likes to share his toys, not lip off to Mom, and eats his veggies and doesn't wipe his boogers on the pillow case at night, kind of Jesus.
I could feel Sean instantly tense up at the wheel. "I don't think it hurts him at all baby bear." She persists "But how does he do it?" I suggest by way of women having babies. "But why have babies all the time? Why does he let us do it that way?" My head is spinning and I don't want to dig myself into a religious tar pit. I would rather like to get out of the blankety-blankety car, have a couple glasses of wine and revel at the fact we are finally home!
"Because he loves us and it's his way of wanting more people to love each other and not be lonely." I felt pretty smug with my answer and Lola wanted her Simon the Chipmunk stuffed animal she won at the Ocean City Boardwalk.
Later that evening (10 and a half hours later, as fore mentioned) Sean said he wasn't really happy with my answers and didn't want his kids having any false ideas. "Do we really know there is a God?" "Are YOU really certain? I want her to make her own conclusions and not have her believing in fairy tales. I want her to know of other religions and other ways. I want her to have discussions with people and be aware there are other opinions and beliefs."
Sean and I have oil and water views on organized religion and subscribed belief systems. We've made it work so far, after ten years of living together, then a marriage in a Catholic church (thanks Mom), ten additional years of wedded bliss, baptism of both our children into said church, weathering heated arguments about my beliefs and the trauma (mostly self made) and all doubt and good 'ol Catholic Guilt!!! I can say we respectfully agree to disagree at most times. Do I know God exists? I sure as hell hope so. I've lived on this, thrived on this, denied this, banked on this, run away as far as I could on this, bet ponies on this....It's all I know. Am I brainwashed? Blissfully indulgent? Afraid of that huge hand coming down from the clouds to bitch-slap me or smote me.
Do I know God exists? I don't, I guess I really don't. What I do know, what I know deep in my heart, and I know that throbbing organ pretty well by now; I know I wish I were a better person. I WANT to be a better person, I'm just lazy. I want to do better in the world, to make a better world. I'm just lazy. I want to be loved and to love. I want to not judge. I could care less if someone judges me. At the end of the day I know oh so little. Yet, I plunder on, walking the walk, talking the talk, smoke and mirrors and all that gussied up stuff that makes me feel better.
Once in a while, just a small glimmer, a nugget of truth embeds itself in my brain. I look at my two children. There HAS TO BE A REASON for them, a tangible reason they free fell into my lap. I look at my husband, so complex and so readable at the same time, surely this person was meant for me, and just me. I look at nature, such a gift, the people around me, who love me, truly love me. This I know is all true and tangible. All bets are on. This I am taking to the track.