Tomorrow we’re on the road again, this time to our daughter’s in New Jersey, for another family milestone. This is the first such milestone ever on this side of the family tree. Our oldest grandson will be celebrating his Bar Mitzvah. My daughter’s husband is Jewish, and they are raising their three boys in the Jewish faith.
Now that I think about it, my daughter’s roots include a fair amount of religious variety, even though we were pretty much non-church goers.
As far as I know, my husband’s family never went to church of any kind. However, his grandmother did journey from Catholicism to Protestantism, and finished up as a Jehovah’s Witness. After any of her visits to our house, there were always several issues of The Watchtower left behind. At least when the ladies knocked on my door to save my soul I could tell them in all honesty that I already had all the information.
When I was growing up, my mother, sister, and I bobby pinned on our chapel veils and regularly marched off to St John’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On one occasion I did go with my grandfather to his Presbyterian service, but I remember thinking it pretty dull stuff without the aerobics of the kneeling, sitting, standing, then repeat, that I was accustomed to.
It’s beyond my powers of imagination to picture my brilliant, irreverent father in a church, but he must have done so once, since I’ve seen the proof – my mother in her long white gown surrounded by pews and flowers.
When my children were young, there was a brief interlude when I tried attending a Congregational Church since a friend of mine was a member, but I soon got fed up by this particular minister’s constant return to the subject of money and donations.
At the time we lived in a heavily Catholic area, and the Catholic high school was right down the road, making it seem much more like our neighborhood school than the public one a bus ride away. When our kids hit ninth grade, that’s what they chose. The school was kind enough to accept our kids – and our checks.
Funny, though. I wonder if all those mandatory religion classes and once-a-week masses had any bearing on the fact that my grandkids are Jewish and my son’s spring wedding will take place under a chuppah, after which we’ll all dance the Horah.