Sofia has taken to carrying a white basket with sparkly gold Easter grass most everywhere she goes. The basket has numerous treasures hidden inside it and one tupperware container with 3 pink bows and 3 purple bows that she carefully sealed shut with plastic wrap. Last week when we were hanging out in the lobby of our apartment building she took the tupperware container out and held it over her head and walked around shaking it and saying, “This is how I serve God. Serve God. Serve God. Serve God.”
I looked at Claudio and shrugged. “Not me,” I said.
“Where’d you learn that?” Claudio asked.
“Prayer class,” she answered.
He gave me a look.
“I promise you, we don’t have Prayer class in our home school.” I said. He looked dubious. “Not that Prayer class would be a bad thing. Just the other day I was worried that Sofia had no spiritual instruction at all. I thought maybe we should take her somewhere–I don’t know where. I was thinking maybe we should tell her about Noah’s Ark or something.” I looked over at her running in circles singing her praises to God. “Maybe not.”
Sofia sang, “I’m gonna praise God everywhere, praise God everywhere, serve God everywhere.” She took her gold sparkly grass out of her bucket and spread it on the floor in front of her and started praying and singing with her hands in prayer position.
I’m sure mothers everywhere worry about their kids being odd, but especially as a home school parent, I worry about this. I’ve been trying to get over it and just let her be. This fall when we were at a tennis club, and she was changing clothes for her tennis lesson, she got freaked out by the automatic flusher toilets and ran around the club changing room naked screaming, “Automatic Flushers!” My first thought was, “Home Schooler.” I know! I’m an evil mother. Her praising God fills me with similar horror. And pride. And then horror again. Followed quickly by joy and pride. I did not know this is what motherhood felt like.
Maybe all kids have sweet little hearts for God before it is mocked out of them at school. I’m sure this behavior wouldn’t be okay in a school, but then, maybe it would. I felt odd my whole life, so maybe odd is normal. I looked down at her.
“She looks like Sergio.” I said. Sergio is Claudio’s father, and he has always been a Spiritual Giant. He meditated in a homemade elevator surrounded by twenty mirrors during Claudio’s youth. He taught EST classes. He smoked a lot of pot and ran around naked. When I first met him I found him to be filled with the Spirit of Joy. I’ve never met anyone happier than Sergio.
“Don’t put this on me. This is you,” Claudio said. “You baptized her in the tub.”
“Ok. Better than in a church, no? Harmless little ceremony.” I turned to Sofia, “Who teaches you Prayer class?” I asked.
“YOU don’t,” she said. “I just learn, Mom. I know God. She is very nice. I’M GONNA SERVE, SERVE, SERVE GOD!” she sang.
Claudio said, “God is paying me back for all my disbelief.”
“She is.” I said.
“Mom believes in God. Dad doesn’t. Dad doesn’t even like the word God.” Sofia continued. I don’t know who she was talking to. “Dad likes us to say ZIGGA WADDA WHODA BIT instead of God.” And then she sang some more praises to God.
It’s true. Claudio doesn’t like me to say the name of God. For awhile we called God “Bob Smith.” It was a more neutral name for the ever-loving Spirit of the Universe. But there is a car dealer in L.A. named Bob Smith and we would be driving and having a fight and I’d say, “Look! A sign! Bob Smith wants us to stop fighting and love one another!” when we’d pass a dealership billboard. Claudio got annoyed and that’s when he chose ZWWB as the name of God. I have yet to bring ZWWB into any conversation.
But watching Sofia, I felt a tinge of envy at her total freedom. God is constantly on my mind in one way or another. But not in a God-dy way. More like a stream of gratitude or a conversation in my mind. I wake up in the morning amazed to have another day to spend. I can be moved to tears by some quality of light in the afternoon or amazed at how good it feels to breathe in and out. Lily’s little hand on my cheek first thing in the morning moves me to tears. These things all make me think of the grace of a Higher Power, call it what you will.
I don’t remember ever not believing in God and talking with It (as Sofia references God when not calling her a She…) but it’s not really something I share with anyone.
Other than all you Bloggers.