Welcome back to another proud moment in my life raising Heathen Littles!
Recently, my youngest boy played Santa Clause in the Christmas Play.
No, you read that right. My Heathen boy was Santa in the school Christmas play. No, it wasn’t the Winter Music Program, or the Holiday Program…. it was the Christmas program.
I live in North Dakota, not-so-gentle Readers. Not just NoDak, but small town NoDak. The kind of small town NoDak when Wednesday nights are reserved for church and catechism or bible study.
That being said… there are very few people other than Christians, and our multi-path pagan group of 20 is considered a big group… and odd.
It may disappoint you, but I am not the Heathen parent that makes demands on things such as the Christmas program, or having Good Friday off as a holiday from school. I don’t demand that my child has equal opportunity to share his belief system taught at home or insist that there are no mentions of an Abrahamic God in his school. This is where we live, this is what the Norns have chosen for us.
We live life, co-mingling with Christians, and is probably much more peaceful than it was for my Heathen/Scandinavian ancestors when Christianity began its take over.
So… as a Heathen parent, how do I deal with it? Well, fairly easy, if I must say. I don’t pound into my kids’ head that Heathenry is the only option… I am a council member for a multi-path pagan group that also has Shinto, Druids, Kemetics, and others. It would be super hypocritical for me to tell my children that those religions are ok, but that Christianity isn’t, don’t you think?
Also, my kids’ grandparents and dad and step-dad are Christian. Why would I condemn those people in their lives? Why would I criticize their faith when all of the above (mostly) have accepted my brand of Heathen and do not involve themselves with contradicting what I teach my boys?
I let my kids be involved. Even if it includes Christian theology. Why would I not? It’s fun for them.
Now, do we hide the fact that we are Heathen. Not at all. People have questions, and sometimes they ask my kids. The boys are confident enough that they have answers to the most common questions and if they don’t know an answer they refer the question and the asker to me.
I guess I don’t run into the same issues that other parents have had to deal with. It may also help that I don’t pull my kids out of programs, or make a huge deal out of things. I’ve kept my kids out of school to celebrate holidays, and have never had an issue. My kids have worn their BS&R sweatshirts to school, without any problems. Most people that ask are just genuinely curious.
Have I run into assholes? Of course I have, but I’ve never had any issues putting those ignorant bastards in their place and they don’t push at us again. I also have a Calvary to call on in the event that I’d ever have serious opposition. I’m 100% certain all of BS&R would be standing in the school office the minute I called on them, if needed, to deal with anything. Again, I know, I’m far more fortunate than others because of the strength of my group.
So, I guess my point is… as long as my kids think it’s fun to play Santa in the play I’m not going to bring my Heathen Hammer down and say “No! That’s not what we do!”
I won’t force my kids to sit in the sidelines and make Heathen martyrs out of them. If they choose to do that later in their lives, and decide that all in their own, so be it.
Until then, I’m going to let them be kids and leave the worrying about the big stuff to the adults. Like it or not, whether you think I’m right or not, it’s what I do. And it’s been working so far.