I hope you're already a lucky reader of Laura's fantastic blog. She and her husband had their first baby, Mary Margaret, in October and she's written about the first few months of parenthood (struggles with breastfeeding and going back to work among many other things) with great wit and candor. I just wish she would start posting on the daily . . .
I was beyond thrilled when Grace asked me to write a guest blog for her. Charlie (my husband) and I have been following her for a while now, and privately have conversations like we actually hang out with the Pattons. I think I told everyone I knew (that also follow Grace and some that didn’t) that she had asked me to write this post.
Pattons, Charlie and I are so excited for your little clan to have another addition (and surprisingly early!), and know he is going to be just as exciting to receive updates on his antics along with the other mischief makers.
Raising a Catholic daughter (as a Protestant)
To start this epic story, I am not a confirmed member of the Catholic Church; my husband is and our daughter will be baptized in the Catholic Church, but currently I’m not.
There -- that’s a good start.
I’ll go even father back to discuss when Charlie and I were dating and then married.
Upon meeting Charlie and beginning to date, it was loosely alluded to that he would not marry someone who was not Catholic, which I wasn’t and didn’t really plan on becoming. We didn’t have a Catholic wedding, and, to be honest, our marriage isn’t even recognized in the Catholic Church (this is mostly because we’re lazy and haven’t done the paperwork).
I am confirmed Presbyterian and have attended Presbyterian churches for my entire life. There was a time in 2011 where Charlie and I were members at two separate churches. If anyone has tried this form of separate but equal worship, it is a strain on a family each Sunday and can makes for some hurt feelings.
I won’t go into the reasons why I’ve left the Presbyterian Church, but for the quick and dirty, I didn’t find a group or place that I really felt comfortable at that church, and the jumping between churches really didn’t seem worth it.
Early 2012 we began going exclusively to our fave Catholic parish in downtown Raleigh, NC, Sacred Heart Cathedral. When we got pregnant in January 2012, I felt we needed to have a church home for this little bean that we had made.
I say all of this to say that in late October 2012 we welcomed a brand new little girl into our lives (YAY!). And we want our family to have a strong stock in a faith and church. It may seem that I have just “given in” and began going to the Catholic Church because Charlie did and he is more devout than I am on churchly matters. Well, that is half-true: Charlie is getting his Masters in Theological Studies at Duke Divinity in May 2013 (Yipee!!) and it is his driving that is bringing us together as a family in the Church.
BUT, we have also found a group of new and young parents through the Catholic Church that have met a few times over the fall and I have really found needed support and commiseration with the moms (and dads, I guess) during this changing time in our lives.
Charlie and I have discussed what having a daughter in the Catholic Church will mean, what our stance will be on her behaviors, how her teachings will be done, and how to answer the tough questions she will get from people about priests, Popes, Eucharist and the rest of it. We will teach her about the Saints and about how all of these things are important in her daily life.
Only, this is difficult for me because I have a tough time believing in certain aspects of the Catholic Church myself, most notably the Eucharist. Charlie has gone ‘round and ‘round about the body and the blood and I can’t really wrap my head around it. I love the obviously traditional nature of the Catholic Church, the reverence, the hymns. But Mary Margaret and I will have to learn about the “meat” of the Catholic Church together, and she’s gonna have to be ok with that.
Wonder if she’ll mind me coming to class with her? I’ll bring cupcakes and even let her be the teacher’s pet if she wants.