A few days ago, we were driving in the car and there was a story on the radio about gay marriage. From the back, Lily asked what the story was about. In the most basic language possible, I explained that in some states a man and a man or a woman and a woman can get married if they love each other. But, unfortunately, in some states, they cannot. She just nodded and returned to complaining about Ben kicking her seat. Jeff turned to me and sighed. Such a hard thing to explain to a kid, he said. Not really, I answered back, it’s easy. It’s only complicated for adults.
Ben asks about religion pretty often. They attend a Jewish school, but I am not a big believer. It’s hard for me to answer some of their questions, as my beliefs differ from what they are being taught. A few weeks ago, we drove by a church. “What do people do in there?” Ben asked. They pray to God, I responded. The God that they believe in. “Like us,” Ben said. “So all people just pray to God in all different buildings?” Yes, that’s right, I said.
So utterly simple at the core.
Sometimes, the sheer responsibility of raising children hits me like a ton of bricks. We’re supposed to mold them? Supposed to teach them what’s right and wrong in a world that we’re still figuring out how to navigate? How do you explain these horrible images from Japan when you can hardly look yourself? I can barely decode my daughter’s homework most nights. Jeff still can’t figure out how to run the dishwasher. The tuition bills are unpaid and summer plans unmade and we’re supposed to be the ones teaching our children?
But, sometimes, my kids remind me that it’s not all that complicated. It’s about love. Love, and hope. Just the basic stuff we’re teaching them.
And I see that out of all the not so perfect stuff we do as parents, we’re not doing such a bad job, either.