May 8, 2009

God and the Eiffel Tower

You know how sometimes the universe sends you those little those not so subtle hints that you need to take action? I got one of those the other day, loud and clear.

My husband and I often debate taking our children to church. It is not for a lack of belief that we do not spend our Sunday mornings with something much larger than us. It is pure laziness. Don’t get me wrong, I want my children to be wonderful people who have a strong faith and think beyond themselves. I am actually very comfortable with my relationship with religion but that is because I grew up going to church and Sunday school and was able to form my own opinions. My faith-stunted children haven’t had such a chance. But my husband and I work very hard and we all have such little time together as a family as it is that a Sunday morning spent getting the kids dressed and their faces jelly free to make them sit and be quiet, seems a little unbearable at this point in our lives. To be honest, we really just enjoy our lazy Sunday family snuggle time. The kids hop in bed and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while my husband and I share secret smiles at their giggles.

I have often felt very guilty about this lack of church attendance but I was able to justify it to myself that my children are so young they won’t be absorbing anything at Sunday school anyway. Plus, I do send them to a Parents Day Out and Pre-school program at a church so that counts right? Never mind the fact that I am constantly reminded each month when the tuition bill comes that as a non-church member I pay more for my children to go school there. I am able to push that nagging guilt down by justifying that it is a different denomination than the church I was brought up in and so even if we did go to church, we would not go there anyway.

That was all working for me until the other day. My daughter is really smart and I have been impressed at how much she is learning at pre-school. So I was not surprised at all when we were snuggled up looking through a magazine and she identified the Eiffel Tower. Her sweet faced beamed up at me and said “I know what that is! The Eikkel Tower!” It is actually pronounced “Eiffel Tower” I thought but didn’t want to squelch her excitement and I told her she did a great job in recognizing it. I went on to explain how it resides in Paris, France and was built for the World’s Fair, blah, blah, blah, not really knowing if I knew what I was talking about but she seemed to be buying it. She got really excited and said “Oh Oh! I know what else! That is where God lives, he lives in the very tippy top!”

You know those moments when you are stuck between laughing at your children and being horrified all at the same time? I have those moments daily but usually the horror is directed at my children’s behavior albeit humorous. But this time the horror was directed toward myself. How is it that my 4 ½ year old daughter thinks that God lives at the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower? I have been to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower on more than one occasion and I just didn’t see him there. There is a saying that if you go all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower you will see someone that you know. Well, apparently I wasn’t looking hard enough.

I’ve gotten pretty good at this and I could launch into a whole justification about the view from the top of the Tower is a religious experience or how I pay good money to that school and they should cover the basics like the fact that God does not live in the Eiffel Tower. But really maybe it is time to for me to get my lazy bones out of bed and get my children to church. We might have to find a place that offers services several times a week as I think we have a lot of lost time to make up for.

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