I sometimes forget that not everyone parents like us. I mean I know, know that people do things differently (have you met my nieces and nephews?), but I guess that somehow I think everyone’s on the same page.
I got a wake up call as we left the zoo. Now, before I am painted as a crazy, Humvee driving, footprint leaving wack-job, let me say I am pro conservation. Even pro environment. I recycle with the best of them. I take short showers. I’ve been known to walk to Blockbuster to get a movie. Back to the story – As we left the zoo we walked past a young, hip couple getting into a smallish SUV. I noticed them because they had two little kiddos they were loading up, had a very hip stroller and both mom and dad were very clean cut -in an earthy way, you know what I mean?- and yet had large tribal type tatoos. And multiple piercings. Again, not judging (okay, just a little), just different.
What really got me was the conversation I overheard as we passed. The dad said “What is this doing here?” Mom, chuckling: “He handed it to me!” Kid: “Can I have it?” Dad: ”No. We are going to recycle it back into the earth.” (this was said with great force, passion and caring. Like “Because your grandma wanted to be creamated and spread over the ocean, that’s why.”) Kid: “Why?” And then, I am not even kidding you, the dad starts to sing “It’s the circle of life … ” !!!!! Could I even make that up? No, my friends, I could not.
It came to mind, this article I read, about how easy God believing folk have it. When their kids have questions about death and life they can pawn it off on God. I was not offended. Not at all. I was appreciative for the first time, perhaps, of the simpleness of our favorite answer, “Because that’s how God made ‘em.” The kids even use it with each other. I didn’t realize the brilliance of it all until that article. I even felt a little sorry for those “non-believers.” But it hadn’t occured to me that people would use different god-like explanations. The way that dad sang that Lion King song was like a hymn – no joke. I thought for the first time of life lived with a different god, a different set of values. And I laughed. Maybe I am a wack-job. Or maybe just different.