Out of the blue while we were snuggling in my bed reading a book, Alison looked up at me and said she wasn't going to give anything up for Lent next year.
Ever ready to play her straight man, I said, "Why not?"
"Because I'm not a Christian," she said.
I frowned at her. It's true that we don't go to church. I send her to Catholic school for a reason: I'm not qualified for these life lessons and I know it.
I have routine wrestling matches with my Pentecostal demons and tend to see more corruption in organized religion than salvation. I don't inflict any of that on her. I want her to get religious instruction from true believers. When she's an adult, she can determine what to accept and reject, but it'll be informed consent. (That's my rationale, anyway.)
So when she -- two weeks shy of 9-years-old -- told me she's not a Christian, I gulped. What the hell have they been teaching her at Christ the King? I mean the name of the school is Christ the King. Jesus!
I hid my dismay rather well, if I do say so myself.
"You ARE a Christian, honey. You mean you're not Catholic, don't you?" I said gently.
"Nope," she said confidentially. "I'm not a Christian and I'm not a Catholic. I'm going with Paleontologist."
I gulped. "Huh?"
"You know, I'm going with the idea that we evolved. You know, the dinosaurs, that we were apes and stuff?"
I gulped again. And wondered if I needed to review the CKS science book.
"You know you can believe in evolution AND believe in God," I said.
I closed my eyes. I might have prayed. I might have passed out. I'm just not sure. I'm pretty sure something like, "Help me, Jesus" might have crossed my lips.