Halloween in the St. Mary’s Parking Lot
By Barbara Matousek
The cold, fall rain comes down fast as we pull forward in the St. Mary’s parking lot, and Sam points to the small white statue on the west side of the building.
“There’s Jesus’s mom,” he says.
“Yep,” I say. “That’s Mary.”
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t fret a whole lot when it comes to parenting. I generally feel comfortable with decisions I make and mostly have an attitude that they will turn out okay no matter what. But some of my closer friends will tell you that there are two things I do worry over: what to teach my children about God, and what is the best schooling solution for our family.
“Jesus is everywhere,” Sam says, and his 4-and-a-half-year-old friend E, who sits in the booster seat beside him, agrees.
I won’t lie. Sam goes to a Catholic preschool not because I believe anything they teach him about Jesus and God but because it’s the most convenient preschool for my work situation. I don’t know what I believe about Jesus and God, but I also know that Sam is learning to be a good and loving person from good and loving people. And the school is just a few blocks from my office.
“Jesus is in your heart. He’s everywhere. Even in your skeleton,” Sam says.
“He’s not in a skeleton,” E says. “Skeletons aren’t real.”
“Yes they are. They’re your bones. Your bones are real.”
“But skeletons are not real.”
“Yes they are,” Sam insists. “Everyone has a skeleton inside them. Your brain tells them what to do. When you want to move your hand, your brain sends a message to your bones and your hand moves. And when you walk your brain sends a message to your foot to walk. Skeletons are real.”
And there you have it. Sam sums up science and religion and Halloween in the St. Mary’s parking lot. This mama has nothing to worry about.