Went to mass with my six year old son this morning. First time in several years I went to a non-special occasion mass. (I did Ash Wednesday at St. Mary’s in Evanston this year, plus the occasional wedding or funeral –and yes, there IS a difference between them– and I fondly recall a special mass at a L’Arche Faith & Sharing retreat a few years back. But mostly I’ve run in Protestant circles the past twenty-plus years.
So attending a run-of-the-mill, Fourth Sunday of Easter, and taking Graham along, was actually a big deal. We were in Wisconsin at the cottage, where we generally do not attend church, so Graham was not very enthused about the idea. But I made him come with me, as parents have done with their children for generations, and he may have actually learned a few things along the way.
For example, he picked up some swag, in the form of a plastic rosary (see photo), and an instructive Rosary for Kids pamphlet. Despite my having so little experience with this ancient tool for prayer, Graham seemed to take fairly well to the fairly mathematical instruction manual. He even decided to quiz me after reviewing the pamphlet, despite not knowing his Hail Marys, Lord’s Prayer, or even the Sign of the Cross (which I taught him while we were in the wired-for-sound nursery of the recently built, multi-million dollar St. Mary Magdalene Church on the outskirts of Waupaca, WI).
It’s hard to know what will “stick” within the mind and soul of a six-year-old. But creating opportunities for new experiences like this, connecting him to his family history, can only help.
Speaking of new experiences, we’re showing Graham the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD this weekend. Tonight it’s Empire Strikes Back, and the first encounter with Master Yoda.
Can’t beat the Dagoba swamps for a symbolic wilderness experience. Jim Henson’s Creature Studio is working it’s magic, Graham’s loving it, and The Force is cleqrly with us.
We may not have mastered the disciplined ways of the Rosary and the Jedi, but we’re working on it.