The nice thing about having a blog is getting the last word

by DaniGirl on December 21, 2007 · 22 comments

in Rants and rambles

I’ve vacillated quite a bit about what to post today. Late last night, tears still stinging my eyes, I was going to turn off the comments and not post anything until after Christmas, or at least until after the weekend, to take a little break from blogging. The level of judgementalism in some of the comments yesterday really got to me. (When I re-read them this morning, I could clearly see that it was only a few – but once I was feeling defensive, hurt wasn’t far behind.) Lying awake after my 4 am pee break and unable to go back to sleep, I thought maybe I’d try to make a joke out of it. An hour ago in the shower, I thought maybe it was best to just ignore it and write about something else entirely.

Since my muse has deserted me, you get this stream-of-consciousness instead. For those of you who are curious (or, in some cases, disturbingly judgemental) about our choice to send the boys to Catholic school, beyond this post here’s the gist of it our reasoning.

I like me. I like who I am, how I am, how I got to be here. I am content with myself in many ways, and by extension, I’m happy with how I got here. I have such fond memories of my childhood that it makes perfect sense to me to raise the boys in more or less the same way I was raised. Beloved and I both went to Catholic school, and I don’t know about his parents, but mine had the same doubts and questions and concerns about Catholicism, and even Christianity, that I do. I’ve posted many, many times about this, and maybe that’s why yesterday’s comments caught me so off guard.

So, back to the rationale. The bottom line? It was good enough for me, good enough for Beloved, good enough for my parents, to go to Catholic school and have that fundamental set of beliefs, and then make our own choices as we grew up — and we believe it’s good enough for the boys, too. I may have issues with even some of the most basic precepts of the faith, but that doesn’t mean I discount the whole thing. I’m not anti-Catholic, it just took me a long time to reconcile my own fundamental beliefs with that of the Church. Over the years I’ve learned to have the courage to change the things I can and the serenity to accept those I cannot. It’s a philosophy that works for me, despite my occassional ponderings otherwise.

Kerry sent me an article on what I was really thinking about when I posted yesterday that gets to the heart of the matter much better than all the subsequent comments, so I wanted to share that with you, too.

I’m off to another ultrasound, to ground myself in what really matters to our family heading into this holiday season… the fact that we have each other.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Trixie December 21, 2007 at 8:38 am

Amen! No matter what your faith, Jesus and Saint Nick are all about the being the best person you can be. About sharing and selflessness and empathy–and the magic that happens when you make your whole life about those things. Christ didn’t invent the human spirit, but by all accounts he was great at bringing the best out in others and in giving more than seems possible to give. Santa Claus can be seen in much the same light, really. Like you, I see their connection: and like you, I do my best to highlight the qualities in those figures that I’d like to nurture in my son. Despite the fact that I don’t believe the full mythology behind either source, I do believe in the Christmas spirit. To my mind, there should be more semi-lapsed Catholics deceiving their children with the Santa myth in the world if that would mean there’d be more people like you (props to your amazing parents). Shout it out, Dani–“Let’s give thanks to the Lord above, cuz Santa Claus comes tonight!” Enjoy the holiday with your family πŸ™‚

2 cinnamon gurl December 21, 2007 at 9:07 am

Hey, just wanted to wish you well on your ultrasound… and your mom’s comment yesterday made me laugh out loud. But somehow that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

3 alison December 21, 2007 at 9:11 am

I read your post yesterday, and all the nice and judgmental responses, and was trying to distill what I feel about the matter. My words are not working well today, so I’ll just say that Trixie’s post captured it perfectly.

Now go have a good ultrasound, and remember that there are lots of us out here who think you are a good person and a wonderful mother.

4 Nancy December 21, 2007 at 9:19 am

You’re doing a fine job, Dani — stupid and cowardly commenters nonwithstanding. If people really think they have all the answers for themselves and their children, more power to them. But for those of us struggling realistically with ways to reconcile our own childhood beliefs with our own beliefs as adults and parents — it’s not easy to sweep all the inconsistencies under the rug and traipse blindly along pretending we believe in this or that.

And please — those misinformed commenters can’t possibly think (whatever their standing is on religion, on the meaning of Christmas, on schooling) that they’ll be 100% accepting of and comfortable with the messages their kids are receiving. No parent can control their kids’ environment to a T, and even if we could do so, we cannot control how our kids will react to and intepret what they learn. There would be pitfalls regardless of where your children received their education — but the key is to make sure they get the context at home to understand what they are learning.

So again, Dani, you’re doing the right thing as a parent, absolutely. You’re considering the tough questions and working through them. And you know, your kids will turn out just fine — because when they’re old enough you will have that kind of dialogue with them.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful new year with the babe on the way!

5 Barbara December 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

So, if you wanted the last word, you should have turned off comments on this post. ;+)

What more do kids need than a mom who tackles big questions and comes out feeling the need to seek more to understand? Well, I guess they need a mom that takes them for doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds but spiritually they need someone who is thinking rather than simply accepting. Good luck with ultrasound. With a few festive stickers, The Player will have his own seasonal pick.

6 kgirl December 21, 2007 at 9:41 am

oh no! they made you CRY?
I’m not personally into the csb myself, but damn, the choice is there, and it’s your choice to make.
haven’ read the post yet, but it doesn’t matter. making a pregnant woman cry is illegal. isn’t it?

7 Chantal December 21, 2007 at 10:52 am

You are a strong woman. You blog about things even when you know comments will hurt. I tend to shy away from controversy (as you know). I applaud you for your honesty and strength. Your children will no doubt be well adjusted adults with you and Beloved guiding their way. All the best during this holiday season.

8 Annika December 21, 2007 at 10:59 am

Oh, Dani…remember that this is just the blogosphere and not to let any comments (be they good or bad) from complete strangers affect you. Remember to connect with the real people around you (the many friends and family in your life, of which I am sure are many) over Christmas. Maybe we should all take a break from the computer for a few weeks to enjoy real, live human conversation and laughter…there is no greater gift. Wishing you and your family all the best of the season. You have much to look forward to in 2008!

9 Rebecca December 21, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Would you like me to do some butt kicking for you??

Oh wait, I can’t kick anonymous butt, can I?

I don’t comment all the time, and I have disagreed with you on at least one occasion, and I love that you’re so open to other points of views and are respectful of them. You do not deserve comments that upset you, are rude, condescending, or in any way just plain not nice. You’ve done nothing to bring them on, other than be honest and open about your feelings and beliefs on various subjects. That’s what makes your blog one of my favorites.

Lift your head, take a deep breath, and forget anything negative. It’s just not worth it.

On a more positive note, hope the ultrasound was awesome and please let us know how the little guy is doing! I’m so excited for his birth I can’t stand it!

Hugs to you, and Merry Christmas to your family!

10 Sally December 21, 2007 at 2:28 pm

I really, really liked what you wrote yesterday. I kept saying to myself, “hey, that’s what I think!” only I didn’t know I thought it until I read your words. I have also been wondering which direction to go wtih Christmas now that my three year old is really interested in more than just the presents. Well, he’s mostly interested in the presents, but also wants to know who the baby in the nativity scene is. We don’t go to church or have him in Sunday school (I was raised fundamentalist protestant) and I’ve kind of been dragging my feet on what to do about the whole thing. Your thoughts on the subject of childhood and belief and Christmas helped solidify some of my nebulous thoughts. Thanks. I’m sorry not everyone was positive in their comments.

11 Valerie December 21, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Dani, it’s your blog and I think you’ve been true to yourself in everything you’ve written. Don’t let anonymous comments get you down – the problem with the internet is that any mean person out there can have their say.

I hope the u/s goes well and, as you said, reminds you of what’s really important.

btw, your mom is cool. She sure made me smile with her comment on yesterday’s blog.

12 Batman December 21, 2007 at 4:25 pm

I’m really sorry that I missed yesterday’s discussion and I’d like to second (or third?) Trixie’s comments. It would have been a good conversation to have if everyone were in one room and you could see each other face to face. Maybe then people would have been a little more respectful.

Children will learn their values in the home, in school, from friends and from a thousand other sources. Children will also learn lessons from the decisions made by their parents. Whether they are good or bad decisions is often a matter of perspective. Be the best parent that you can be; love and support your children; and give them every opportunity to grow and learn for themselves. They’ll make up their own mind as to what is right for them when the time comes. Hopefully, they don’t become zealots.

Herschel Krustofsky lives by the motto, “it’s not just good, it’s good enough”. Sleep well young Danigirl and be confident in your decisions. They’re certainly good enough for me.

13 mamatulip December 21, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Hey Dani, I read your post yesterday but didn’t comment — I tend to stay out of religious conversations. πŸ™‚ I just wanted to say, though, that I’m glad you blog so openly and honestly. I appreciate your perspective and I enjoy reading your thoughts about everything from minivans to religious choices.

14 Ingrid December 21, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Hi Dani
I’m glad you like you because I like you too. I believe you do everything with the best outcome in mind, and with your family at the centre of your focus. People believe in so many different things that there is bound to be discussion controversy, etc over choices. However, it is nobody’s business to judge what you think, or to judge who you are.

When you doubt your self, just look at the darling boys and remember that this is what you created with your love, energy, devotion, and attention. And nobody can fault you for that!

15 Loukia December 21, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Hey Dani, don’t let people’s comments upset you – the fact that you can generate so much discussion is a very cool thing indeed! And nothing – nothing is more important then family and love. Happy u/s day! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

16 Jen December 21, 2007 at 9:33 pm

Good luck with the ultrasound and hugs!

17 nomotherearth December 22, 2007 at 7:06 am

I read the post, but not the comments. For what it’s worth, I think you are doing the exact right thing. It’s what I plan to do with my boys too. I was raised in the United Church, and have since come to my own conclusion on how I want to continue on in that religion. I made that decision. My boys will make that decision when the time comes. It’s a part of growing up – making up your own mind.

I love the Serenity Prayer. It’s a big part of my childhood and brought back memories.

I hope the tears are gone. πŸ™‚

18 Lurker December 22, 2007 at 11:09 am

Lokia, are you really ignorant of the fact that yours was among the most judgemental of the comments? I don’t know if it bugged Danigirl, but it offended the shit out of me.

19 lugina December 22, 2007 at 11:12 am

I’m just now reading yesterday’s post and today’s. Wow. My main contribution is this: I read / have read several blogs and been involved in a couple of discussion groups. Your’s is the only place where I truly feel I can say what I think. You are always open to hearing other’s opinions and thoughts and you can always agree to disagree. Keep it up!

And religion – eh. I guess this is why they say you shouldn’t discuss it? I don’t know. I was raised without religion. I grew up with Santa and the Easter Bunny and was much older by the time I realized the religious significance of these holidays. (religious significance to Christians, anyway) To be honest, I don’t buy it. My official position today, at 32 years old after much soul searching, reading, researching, etc. is that I’m agnostic. I won’t say much more here because this is a comment, and not my own blog, but I totally get what you’re saying! I’m currently thinking about a post of my own – what an interesting topic. I thought having grown up without religion helped me to be able to look at it objectively because I think being raised deep in it can be sort of like brainwashing. What you learn from your parents and how you’re raised generally sticks with you. But then I see people who were raised like me end up as Christians and those raised with religion end up where I am. Clearly, there are so many different scenarios.

I hope the ultrasound went well and that you are feeling good.

20 suze December 22, 2007 at 11:20 am

Hi Dani.

What I love about you and your blog is that you are honest with us, and with yourself, and you are so open to other’s opinions. You really are the furthest from judgemental I’ve ‘met’ (and one of the only commenters on my “name change” post that argued for keeping one’s name in a non-derogatory fashion. Which I appreciated.)

I have nothing to add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said. Religion is a sticky topic and does raise ire. I think that I will find myself in the same situation as you one day in the (hopefully) near future – what to tell my future kids about Jesus and Santa and how to let them have a religious upbringing without adding my baggage to the pile. Thank you for blogging about it honestly…

21 Sue December 22, 2007 at 11:45 am


You are doing a wonderful and loving job of parenting your children. Anonymous bloggers *spits* are cowards.

I hope the ultrasound went really well. Have a great holiday with your family!

22 DaniGirl December 22, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Wow, thank you all for your comments — what a difference a day makes! I admit, I was WAY too thin-skinned about the previous post, but it is still very validating to read all your supportive words, and nice to hear all sorts of different perspectives. As always, it’s also a relief to know that many of us are facing the same issues, and that we all pretty much just make things up as we go along.

Really, thank you…

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