My sister is a flat-earther. I go with the rest of the sheep, in believing the earth is round. Nobody really knows, either way. I certainly don’t, as I’ve never seen the world from any vantage point.
But this raises many questions for me. What will I tell her? Will I try to shape her reality (like the media does), by telling her, not what to think, but rather what to think about? What to think about God. What to think about the shape of the world?
I think I will tell her, show her, help her to explore and process evolution theory. We made a commitment to raise her as a Christian. And we intend honouring that commitment. But how we do it may sound novel. We want her to develop a personal relationship with her maker, a God of her understanding.
When she is old enough, and having been taught to question everything, she can decide for herself. Just like I did. That’s the best we can do as parents: teach our children values and principles to live by and then let the fledgling fly.
I feel like a hippy mommy! 🤣 It’s scary, when you think about it, that parenting is really nothing more than a social experiment. We adopt certain expectations – a control test, if you will. And then life carries us along, and we make snap decisions in the moment, informed by deeply held beliefs. “Take your feet off that table!” “Cross your legs when you sit!”, and the like. And then, I guess, you realise you’re not as open minded a parent as you thought.
Or like my dad likes to say, “Keep an open mind. But not too open, your brains might fall out!” I suppose its a good thing, adopting an African worldview, that it takes a village to raise a child. Our daughter’s village is full of varied and unique individuals, who will pull her in all kinds of exciting directions, and help mould her into the being she was created to be!
The only thing I can say for certain is that we will try our utmost to raise a human and not a gender. She will be exposed to lego blocks, puzzles, trucks, sports and action figures. The elders in the village lean happily towards baby dolls, kitchen sets and teddy bears. She will decide.
The same applies to her clothing. When I was pregnant, I refused to find out the gender. If God wanted me to know, He would’ve put a little window on my oven door. 😋 So many of her clothes, at birth, were gender neutral with a large spattering of boys wear (some folks were convinced she was a he).
I expect to continue this trend. Dress her practically, in shorts and crawlers, so she can toddle about. Not too many frills and lace and stockings – nobody can play in those things!
We cannot, will not, give her the world on a silver platter. We hope to guide her as she explores it and figures our her own worldview.