I attended Catholic school all of my life. Catholic school for me, wasn't about achieving a higher level of the faith. My devout paternal Grandmother insisted we be sent to the Catholic school and 'raised' Catholic. My mom agreed mostly because she was spineless, but also because it was a better option than the racial-rioting, gun-toting public school district that was available to us. I'm still alive, can compose a sentence, still have all of my real teeth and am not living in a box, so I am grateful for that.
My mom was raised by a Wesleyan Sunday School teacher that ran around singing 'Jesus Loves the Little Children' and had no judgement and would embrace anyone. She went through catechism at the
She continued to send me to Catholic school. The safety, the morality, the better brand of education were driving factors. However, the only Church I attended on Sundays was where my Grandma taught. I wasn't really raised to think that you had to go to a 'certain' church- as long as you prayed. I wasn't taught that if you don't believe X, Y & Z- you're going to hell. My mom and Grandma instilled in us a very simple guideline for our faith: be a good person. As I recall, 'Catholicism' was never beat into my head in school. Long story short, I guess I don't have the strongest foundation as Catholics go.
When my son was to start school, we lived in 'the city'. Again, the unaccredited public school district was a joke. Since my son was my firstborn and at 5, still sweet as pie, I still had his best interest at heart (now, at 13, I would reconsider 'throwing him to the lions', as it were, on many days!) Again, the decision was made, maybe for the wrong reasons, but made nonetheless.
I think the school I went to and the first one we sent my son to, had a different type of Catholic. That sounds really bad, but try and follow. First and foremost, education was priority #1. Yes, they were "Catholic" people, but not necessarily the most devout, practicing ones (sadly, I fit into those JUST FINE!)
Fast forward to 3 years ago. We moved to a community with a reputable, accredited, sought after public school district. I suppose out of 'fear of the unknown', we chose to stick with the Catholic school. However, I notice an extreme difference in the caliber of Catholics at this school.
These are 'good' Catholics (or, at least they've convinced me as much). They have all made a conscious choice to send their kids to this school because of the Catholic values taught- not for a basic decent education. The school administration reciprocates. It is a highly Catholic- driven curriculum, which I suppose is normal even expected, yet new to me.
This is a conversation with one of the first moms I met at the school (we were talking about overhearing the kids' conversations)...
Mom: "Then I heard him use the 'C' word."
Me: Oh my! (GASPING... and thinking holy shit- that is a bad one- probably the only one I don't use- use your imagination, I refuse to type it)
Mom: "Then I felt like it may have been my fault. I now make a conscious effort to not say "crap" around them.
Me: (nodding head in silence- since I probably had already said that and 4 worse in the 10 minute conversation)
Here's another example of how I am a horrible influence and my kids are totally screwed...
The school has an infraction system. If the kids do something inappropriate or rude or displaying "lack of self- control"- they get one. It took my son all of two weeks to get his inaugural 'infraction' (pop open the champagne, son, you're a man!). I hid my excitement (I wasn't really excited at all, I was scared to death that they had figured out that I'm completely unsuited for this parenting thing- FUCK- the jig is up!) and leaned into him like any semi-inadequate mother would on the defense:
Me: What the hell did you do to get this?
Son: Well, the teacher was about to dismiss us without homework, then some kid said something that made her mad and she gave us homework, after all.
Me: So everyone in class got an infraction?
Me: Oh My God! You were the one that said something to make her mad?Weren't you?
Son: No. It was after she gave the homework. I was talking under my breath and said "this sucks."
Apparently, I didn't get the memo about 'crap' and 'sucks' being curse words. Hell, these are the words I use to censor myself! They are my clean words! "Sucks" is such an integral part of my vocabulary. I use it as a verb, adjective, and even been known to throw it in as a noun!
I tried to explain to him that I don't think it's a bad word, but he cannot use it at school since