This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Last Catholic Standing

I was raised Catholic. First through 10th grade I attended Catholic school. My parents were Catholic, their parents were Catholic. All my aunts and uncles were Catholic. We attended church every Sunday as a family until my parents divorced. No exceptions. We once attended church on Saturday evening, I can't remember exactly why, but my mother felt that this was wrong, violated the spirit of the Third Commandment, and we never did that again.

I am the only remaining Catholic in my family. My parents, siblings, and many of my aunts and uncles have all gone on to different religions, agnoisticism, or atheism. It's strange believing something so fundamentally different from the rest of my family. It's like my parents spent my entire childhood telling me how great the color red was: "We're a red family. We like the color red, we believe the color red is the right color. We expect you to wear red, like red, attend school to learn more about the different tones, hues, and shadings of red, and to marry a man who also likes red and believes it to be the right color too." So finally, after 25 years, I decided that red would be my color too. My husband decided that he liked red so much he would learn all about it and convert so we could have a red family. Then, one day, post-divorce, my dad decides that he really likes blue, indigo, or violet better. Red is too vibrant, too pushy of a color. He wants something more subdued. On another day, post-divorce, my mom decides that it isn't about one color at all, it's about the whole rainbow. No color is better than any other color, they are all equal, they are all connected, part of the rainbow. And my siblings, tired of the color red anyway, quickly threw off their red garments and put on black or white. No color. No choice. Certainly not a rainbow, but no blues, indigos, or violets either. And there I stand, wearing my red, feeling a little confused and a lot betrayed.

If something so integral to my childhood, my values, the morals with which I was raised, the very fabric of our family could be tossed aside by my parents as being an oops-we-didn't-really-like-Catholicism-as-much-as-thought-we-did, what other parts of my upbringing would be overturned? I always feel a little awkward around my parents now when it comes to Catholic rites of passage, such as my daughter's baptism and her First Communion. I know these are things they once believed in deeply but are now only attending to see their granddaughter. I wonder if their new beliefs are true or if someday they'll swing back to Catholicism, or off in another direction completely. I wonder if they clung to Catholicism for so long because it was the one thing they had in common. Perhaps the only thing they had in common.

I like being Catholic. I am not, by any means, the most traditional Catholic, but I believe, very deeply, in what I teach my daughter. I'm not the Last Catholic Standing, I have a husband, and daughter standing by my side too. And we all look good in red.

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