Sunday, June 5, 2011

When my mother knew

Her story is that I was three.
She was driving me home from a birthday party.  I was sitting in the backseat, strapped into whatever contraption was used for toddlers in 1988.  I’d received a balloon animal at the party - some sort of blob with wings - and was playing with it.
Mom was struggling; she’d been raised Catholic but had left the church in ‘69, and we didn’t worship anywhere at the time.  I’d been baptized (Roman Catholic, by my uncle Father Maynard) and she was trying to figure out how to raise me with a sense of Christian faith without a lot of dogma and doctrine.
Somehow the topic of G-d came up; she doesn’t remember how.  
I responded and referred to G-d as He.
Mom looked in the rearview mirror and said:
“Emmy, do you think [G-d] is a boy?”
I looked at her and replied:
“Mom, [G-d] is like my balloon animal.  If you look at it this way, it’s a butterfly.  But if you turn it this way, it’s a bee.”
Mom apparently pulled over, looked at me, then looked up at the sky and wondered Who is this child and where did she come from?
She decided she was going to have to read a lot more books.
And that, according to my mother, is when she knew that I was going to end up in the service of G-d.

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