In an attempt to de-heathenize my offspring, I have been reading through a series of scripture passages for Lent. I grew up Southern Baptist, and Lent was one of the oddities we heard of only in connection with lessons about why Catholics got it wrong. Anyway, I’ve been reading these passages and meeting no resistance whatsoever, which has floored me. I mean, it hasn’t stopped Firecracker from reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom—she’s only interested in counting right now--but DramaQueen has been quite attentive, even asking a few questions. At one point she asked me if I liked reading the Bible, and I said that I did except for the parts with long lists of names. Her eyes lit up, “Lists? I love lists! Show me.” So for the past few nights she has been going over the genealogy in the opening of Matthew. She loves the odd names. She also started reading the Psalms, after I read one to her. I haven’t dared to comment in any way. For some reason a parent’s enthusiasm can completely stifle a child’s interest. I don’t know why, but it was true for me as a child, too. When parents get excited, expectations follow, and the burden is just too tiring.
I find it interesting that the parts of the Bible that I found most tedious and skipped right over, she seems to relish. Well, I haven’t tried her on Chronicles yet. Or Leviticus. I did tell her about some of the purity laws, which, being a typical young person, she pronounced “stupid.’
On another note, she came home from school one day and asked me if I knew about Bloody Mary, because her friend T had seen her in the mirror that morning. Might like to throttle T, who is obviously a little storyteller. I would have liked DramaQueen to skip hearing about that lovely ritual for a few more years. It doesn’t help that I still can’t look into a mirror in the dark because of that stupid story.
To figure out why the Bloody Mary story persists among young girls, I did some research and found an article about Bloody Mary as a ritual for pre-menarche girls: bathrooms, darkness, blood. Some variations of the ritual include flushing toilets, which I had not heard of before. An interesting, theory, I think. Of course there’s also the aspect of divination, which was probably associated with women anyway. None of this rational explanation will make it any easier for me to look in a mirror in the dark. A mirror seems too much like a portal. I don’t know why I’m so susceptible to this stuff.