Some friends visited while we were on vacation. One of them I've known since elementary school, so we've seen each other through some changes [understatement!]. We got into a discussion where she correctly pointed out that fifteen years ago, we would have agreed, whereas now we differed. Heatedly, on my part. She admitted that her impulse was to call me a hypocrite (she didn't). She said, "You've changed." She's right.Why I couldn't tell you. Maturity, marriage, kids? Who knows? I admit I wandered pretty far afield in the day, though not as far as some. I think I got close enough to the abyss to tell it was pretty damn dark down there and back the hell up.What did I back into? The faith my father gave me. An Evangelical mother-of-a-friend asked me, "Is he willing to be Catholic? I know your faith means a lot to you." My husband's insatiable desire for knowledge and patient instruction have taught me more than eight years of CCD classes. Someday, when he's confronted with the hostile "Why did you become Catholic?" he wants to be able to answer in honesty and charity.His example has inspired me. My faith has been hard-won, and I know I still have a ways to go. I want my kids to avoid the abyss that I peered into. I know they will have to learn of its existence, but if I can spare them from the mistakes I made, I'll have done something right.All that by way of introduction. In the effort to provide better for my kids than I had myself, I have compiled this list. Mentally and in the past twelve hours, so it isn't binding, but it's a start. In no particular order, I want my kids to...a. have a healthy sense of patriotism and history, our nation's founding principles, and a recognition of how those principles are employed for both good and evil in our country today.b. have a curiosity about and respect for our universe, the creatures in it, and how it works.c. understand why sex should be reserved for husband and wife in unconditional acceptance of each other, and not a recreational activity with someone you think is "cute."d. know that people are more important than things and quality is generally better than quantity.e. learn at their own pace on our schedule, not one imposed by tourism.
f. be taught all that is true, good, and beautiful, instead of trendy, generic, and banal.
g. know that the high point of history is when God Incarnate walked the earth, but saints are in all shapes, times, and colors.
h. know that right and wrong exist regardless of time or place.
A very simple, short list. It's not asking too much, is it? No problem.