My mother-in-law became aware that she had neglected her son (my husband)'s religious education, when, on visiting a church for some occasion one day with her little boy, he looked up at the imagery of Jesus on the cross and said loudly in a horrified voice, 'Mummy, what are they doing to that poor man?!'
The other day, we realised that we were going down the same road and were well on the way to a similar incident of our own if we didn't do something about it.
This is particularly shameful for two reasons. First, because my husband is an R.E. teacher, and second, because both children have been christened. We loosely call ourselves Christians, and it was very important - especially to me - to have the children baptised. I don't go to church regularly because, being brought up a nice grim Presbyterian, the fancy C of E services round here don't sit comfortably with me. Also, due to my husband's job, Sunday is our only day together and I reckon God is ok about us just spending it as a family (this is why I say 'loosely' - kind of make up my own rules).
Having made the commitment to have them christened, though, we did decide that the children should at least have some knowledge of Christian beliefs. Unfortunately, discussing theology with a three year old quickly unravelled beyond my ability.
Me: Arran, do you know who made the world?
Arran: (making his 'you are crazy' face) Nobody!
Me: No, somebody did. God made the world. In seven days.
Arran: (making his 'God is crazy' face) Seven! That's a long time.
Me: Mmmmh he made all the people and the animals and all the plants.
Arran: And what else?
Me: He made the, erm, fish and the planets and the... sea and the grass and the food and cars (oops) and ... everything.
Arran: Oh. And who made God then?
Arran: Mummy, who made God?
Me: Nobody made him. He was just always there.
Arran: No, but if he made all the things, who made him?
Me: Oh look, it's not raining anymore! Let's go out on the bikes!