Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Not the Olden Days

One way my six year old's teacher gets parents involved is inviting them to be "mystery readers".  Parents who volunteer are assigned a day to come and bring both a book to read to the children and some activity.  The children are not told who is coming, but when the office tells the teacher you are there, she reads off some facts about  you to see if the kids guess.  One fact about me (you fill out a form when you volunteer) was that I wanted to be a nun when I was in first grade.  My daughter is in Catholic school, but like most of her peers, she had no clue what a nun was.  The teacher gave a brief description of a nun and then we went on to more important things, like the story.

Today my daughter asked me about what a nun was.  I explained that a nun is a woman who didn't get married, lived with other nuns, and worked in a church or Catholic school.  She then asked if Ms. V was a nun.  I replied that she was not, that she was married and had grown children.  My daughter then asked what happened if a nun had a baby--did she have to give it to someone else.  I told her that nuns didn't have babies.  She said "What if God sends one?"  I was about to tell her that you had to be married to have a baby, when I realized that she is well aware that isn't true--at least one of her classmates doesn't have a dad.  I ended up telling her you had to have a special relationship with a man and that nuns didn't do that.  It's not the olden days.


  1. I haven't thought about those types of conversations for today's children. Sort of sad- isn't it?

  2. "What if God sends one"

    Hmmm. I wonder...what IF God really sent one. I know Mary was not a 'nun' per se. But she was in a sense, the forerunner of 'consecrated virginity'.

    It makes me wonder how that would have been handled? IE., if in an alternative universe, Mary receive the angelic announcement, not at Nazareth, but while living among other 'consecrated virgins' in the Temple at Jerusalem. How would she explain that to her 'sisters' or to the 'religious leaders'? How would a nun's news of a virginal conception actually be received? (I'm speaking hypothetically, since of course there is and always will be only one 'Virgin Mother').

  3. Ever see the play or movie Agnes of God?


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