I have always greatly valued that I was raised to choose religion for myself; a chaotic family life framed my childhood with many unpredictable yet brilliant elements present. This was one.
Growing up, I felt free to visit many churches and continue to do so, unafraid of differences to simply share ritual practice in faith community as an adult. I have raised my only child in the same manner, yet, I did baptize her before she turned two. It was to give her roots from which to learn about her own potential to fly. Within the particular religious community that she has developed in a very free way, she has reached young adulthood with a Godfather who has been watching over her development from a respectful distance until she was a teenager. It was during this stage of her development that he had asked his wife to approach me with his request and interest to be her patron as she transitioned out into the broader area of life. As a full-time, single parent, knowing this person, I was very deeply touched my his gesture, and so created a ritualized ceremony in which we all partook in one Easter where they both (after my daughter consented), read what it meant to each one to come into this new relationship with one another. As a senior in college, my daughter enjoys a very rich and independent relationship with her godfather who just turned 92!As far as religious belonging and identity, in my own family for each of us there is now a choice-centered foundation from which we know we each can continue to chose and continue to renew in our individual ways. It is a soul nurturing that we each are comfortable sharing with one another, again, in our own unique ways.
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