If you and I sat at a bar 15 years ago and you asked me "So, when you have children do you think you'll raise them Catholic?" I would have laughed so hard the walls would have shook. No CCD for my kids. Religion shmaligion - in fact I believed the Bible was written by a bunch of stoned and drunk men telling stories around the hearth. That could still be true.
However, if you ask my daughter today why she is excited for tomorrow she will tell you two reasons:
1. It's the Kentucky Derby
2. It's her First Communion day
Our decision to put our children in Catholic school had little to do with being Catholic. But what has emerged out of this situation is a new appreciation for faith, trust, respect, love and a bit of routine. It feels good to learn about tradition and ritual and to see my children glow when they talk about a universal love that is bigger than just the four of us and our extended family. I'm learning more about faith then I ever imagined - in fact, it's really as if I'm going to Catholic school too and it's fascinating both historically and religiously.
And while I may not be the world's best Catholic, I appreciate and understand their love for their school, teachers and church. And tomorrow, when my little girl is all dressed in white and smiling proudly with her friends, I'll be confident again we made the right choice. Then we'll be rushing home so she can see the horses race. She is, after all, just an 8 year old girl with a love of animals.