Baby Taco: 3 months, 3 weeks
I am Jewish. I went to hebrew school, had my bat mitzvah and even had my husband break the glass at our wedding. My husband is not jewish though. When I ask him what he was raised as, he never has an answer. I know his grandma sings at a church but that was about it.
When we lived in Seattle, I studied Buddhism. To me it made sense. I loved the peacefullness of it. Several times I even thought about converting but I always came back to my roots.
Growing up Jewish had its ups and downs. I was always envious of the kids that had Santa, that their church services were only an hour instead of 3. Even my hindu and muslim friends that got to dress up in elegant saris and eat the best food I have ever tasted. I have experienced though the high of studying another language and my Bat Mitzvah was one of my most treasured memories. It was the first time I could remember my parents crying because they were proud of me.
When I met my husband and I knew we would get married, it upset my family. We did not have a jewish wedding. I tried so hard to find a rabbi and pastor that would work together but living in Florida, it was a lot harder than you think. So my husband and I took out religion all together. It was easier like that. We celebrated Christmas and Chanukka and respected eachothers beliefs. Or for him, lack there of.
When I was pregnant, my parents really wanted Taco to have a bris. That is the jewish celebration of a circumcision. A special jew called a mohel does the procedure at your house and it is followed by a big party. My brother had one, so did my dad and all the other boys in my family. I however felt uncomfortable. I didn’t want my husbands family to be left out. My husband and I also talked about what if his family wanted Taco to get a christening. It was all too much. We just wanted Taco to be happy.
Well, as you know Taco came out 6 weeks early and was in the NICU for 2 weeks. A bris is done on the babies 8th day of life. Kinda hard to get a bunch of jews together in a NICU. So it didn’t happen. We had it done at the doctors in a much more sterile environment and all is well.
According to the Torah, if the mother of a baby is jewish then so is that baby. So I guess by blood, Taco is jewish. But what about my husband? Or even what about Taco? Religion for us as a couple has become less about the label and more about the spirituality of the whole thing. Sure, we love Christmas and Chanukka and I still fast on Yom Kippur but in the 8 years we have been together, we have never gone to church or temple.
I guess it comes down to Taco. When he is old enough we will teach him about our backgrounds. Teach him about other religions too. And if he wants to do hebrew school and get a Bar Mitzvah then we will do it. Or if he wants to do CCD and get a Conformation we will do that too.
What I don’t want to happen is for him to get made fun of. Being jewish is all well and fine until you find a swastika outside your grandmas house or get called a kike by some redneck douche. I hope that when Taco is old enough to learn religion people will be more tolerant but let’s be real. It’s hard being anything other than Christian. And even Christians have their problems.
I want Taco to believe in a high power and heaven and think that his great grandma is looking down on him. It is comforting for me to think that when I die, I will be reunited with old friends and family. I don’t want Taco to ever feel alone. I don’t want to teach him about an angry God that smites but a loving being that watches you and helps you make good choices. We still have time to figure it all out so for now, my husband and I will just keep that conversation in our minds.
Are there any other interfaith couples with kids? How did you explain it to them?