Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Spring Holidays

Big Cuter wanted to know why that guy has a towel and nails through his hands when we were confronted with Marc Chagall's White Crucifixion at the Art Institute of Chicago. It's the central problem I had with teaching the Cuters about Easter.  I was stuck between bunnies and lambs and a crucifixion. 
Nannie was eager to help, but she, too, was flummoxed.The bookstores weren't much help.  Their descriptions of the Last Supper and The Passion and The Resurrection were either glossed over or overly grotesque for a sensitive, half-Christian, half-Jewish, little boy.  
We decided to stick with the bunnies and rebirth.  It was spring, after all.
Passover presented some of the same issues.  Why did God want to kill little boys, my own son wondered. Walk softly and carry a big stick came to mind as an answer, but it didn't do much to assuage his worry.  He was, after all, a first born son.
I didn't worry about those issues when I was a child.  I thought it was weird that someone could die and be reborn, but if my Catholic girlfriend thought it was true, then who was I to argue?  That worked through elementary school.  
By the time I was in high school, I was doubting the whole religion thing in general, and was able to ascribe my problems with the stories to a problem with mythology in general.  I didn't give the Bible more credence than Edith Hamilton's Mythology.
Now there's FlapJilly and I'm faced with the same dilemma.  I asked MOTG, her other grandmother, if she had any ideas.  She was as lost as Nannie and I.  Once again, there were those bunnies.
Is that what faith is all about?  Believing that which is awkward because God is somehow involved?  If I had faith, perhaps I would know the answer.  
But, I don't.  
So I am left with eating unleavened bread as I contemplate the Resurrection.  I wonder if the disciple to Jesus's right in The Last Supper really was Mary Magdalene.  I posit interesting tides and the parting of the Red Sea.  I dip my pinky in a wine glass and recount the ten plagues visited upon Egypt, and then I wash them off the plate and eat dinner.
It's not exactly what Sunday School or Hebrew School hoped for, but it's all I've got at the moment.
I'll celebrate by planting zinnias and marigolds and euphorbia rigida and concentrate on rebirth and freedom.  
And I'll try not to be angry at the bunnies eating the petunias.  It's their holiday, after all. 


  1. My ten year-old asked yesterday about Easter and then said that Jesus sounds like a zombie. I almost spit out my drink. That's how a ten year-old would perceive someone rising from the dead. And we don't practice religion in our house; so explaining it was just matter of fact. And I'm fine with her coming to her own conclusion. It's gory and it doesn't help her in the least; so we didn't go into it any further.

    How does one go about telling children stuff like this without scaring the crap out of them? Even as a child, the thought of someone being nailed to a cross was horrific. And it's not that I want my children to not know what's happened in the past, but in this instance it serves no purpose.

    So we don't even celebrate Easter---not even Easter baskets. Our kids did that when they were younger, but we don't do it anymore. And my children don't need candy anyway. We celebrate spring. :)

    Hope you had a lovely weekend.

    Megan xxx

    1. What a reasoned and reasonable answer. FlapJilly can't escape the holiday, b/c SIR's family loves it. But the zombie comment takes it from the horrifying to the conceivable.... at least for today's consumers of video content.

      We, too, ended up with Spring. Perhaps I raised pantheists?


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