I made the mistake the other day of mentioning to my dad that the kids did not enjoy going to Sunday school. The comment slipped out of my mouth before I could think better of the decision, but the moment the comment left, I wanted to pull the words right back in. I had no intention of starting a conversation on religion. Thankfully, something at his house grabbed his attention and we said a quick good-bye.
A few hours later, the phone rang.
"Hey Chris," Dad said. "Why don't the kids like going to Sunday school?"
I didn't laugh right then, but I could have. It seems as though Dad has a bee in his bonnet about religion as of late, and maybe he always has. He was raised Catholic; he raised his three girls Catholic. His kids are not necessarily raising their kids with the same level of Catholicism as he'd like. A few days prior to this conversation, he'd asked me if Tara would "ever come back to the church." That day, I did laugh out loud.
I went on to tell Dad why the kids didn't like Sunday school. A plethora of reasons exist, none of which I'm going to go into here. Because those reasons aren't the point of this post. The point is, that as I stood in my living room talking to my dad on the phone, defining why my kids didn't like Sunday school, another more important thought ran through my head. I wondered why he was so concerned about my kids keeping up with Catholicism or Tara coming back to it when he has a situation at home that really needs his attention? I kept coming back to that thought, even after we'd hung up for the second time.
Maybe he needs to worry about something other than my mom. Maybe thinking about me and my kids or Tara and her non-church self helps distract him from what's staring him in the face--that his wife has Alzheimer's, she's deteriorating daily, and he's going to need help soon. Maybe he thinks that since his children aren't as church-going as he is, that we're keeping the miracle that he believes will happen from happening. I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that last possibility is the reason for his fixation.
Sadly, much like everything else in my parents' life over the last couple of years, maybe even decades, I think--and this is just my opinion, from my very own perspective--that his outlook is a bit misguided.