Typically, Sunday mornings in our house begin like this:
Snowflake #1: (at extreme volume) I hate Sunday school!!
Me: (entirely to myself) Yeah. I know what you mean. I hated Sunday school too.
Me: (aloud this time, but with well-concealed guilt) Sunday school’s important Honey.
Snowflake #1: (with an admirable amount of conviction) I’m not going.
Me: (again to myself) I can’t say I’d blame you.
Me: (aloud with guilt again and adding in a bit of self-loathing) Oh, you’re going.
At other spots on the website I’ve wondered whether I hate raking leaves more than I detest shoveling snow, but as I sit here I’m realizing I’d rather have spent my Sunday mornings raking leaves in the middle of snowdrifts rather than attending Sunday school. I remember assuring myself that someday if I had children of my own, the last thing I’d do would do would be force them to go to Sunday school. And now, decades later, the reality is that the point is in no way open to debate.
This might come as a surprise to some or most of all who know me, but I don’t consider myself agnostic. What I do believe is that religion is a private matter. Although I’m proud to be who I am, I feel zero obligation to profess or display my beliefs. If you possess the need to shout from the mountaintops, I (generally) have no problem with that either.
It wasn’t my intention to sit down and discuss the merits of “to each their own,” but rather to say that I want my girls to be able to make their own decisions, and that in order to make such a decision regarding Sunday school, they’re going to have to endure it for a while. They can’t make informed decisions if they don’t have information.
Personally I looked forward to the days when I’d no longer have to endure Sunday school. Somehow—for reasons I’ve long forgotten and can’t begin to comprehend—I wound up volunteering in my (former) Sunday school after graduation. “Why” would be a question I asked the director more than once in the years since.
“I could always count on you to do the right thing,” is what she’d tell me in response, but I never quite bought it. She must’ve been blackmailing me somehow. Was it penance for the times I’d been sent to the office? I doubt it.
As of today I’m an official parent volunteer in my daughter’s Sunday school class. Somehow I’m “enjoying” Sunday school yet again. I am literally there as I type this, and although I’m trying to set a good example and have a smile on my face… I’d rather be sleeping… or doing just about anything else.
The director of my former Sunday school passed away a few years ago. I’m sure if she were here, she’d be delighted that I continue to do the right thing while I remain confounded that I’m active in Sunday school for the third time.