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I had lunch with a new friend recently and we got to talking about, well, almost everything.  We both have 8 year old kids, we're both professional women, raging liberals (she describes herself as a socialist actually), both Jewish married to Jewish men, both raising our kids to be open, inclusive and respectful.  

We started talking about a mutual friend with kids the same age, also Jewish, but whose husband is not.  Several years ago, back when I was close with this mutual friend, her son had asked why mine did not eat the bacon cheeseburger her son had ordered.  Before I could reply explaining that we observed some religious dietary restrictions she chimed in with "well, he {my son} is only Jewish, but you're lucky, you're both Jewish AND Christian so you have lots more options and don't have to be restricted like he is."

As I said, we're no longer friends, largely because that attitude of promoting her lifestyle as better than anyone else's was not limited to her religious choices.  (She also pulled her kids out of the school ours all attended, telling me that the school couldn't meet her kids' needs but was fine for "cookie cutter" kids like mine).

But I digress.

I was sharing the bacon cheeseburger story with my new friend, who relayed a recent conversation she had with her daughter:

Daughter: "Mom, Aunt Susie's new husband isn't Jewish"
Mom: "that's true."
Daughter: "that's not a problem right?"
Mom: "No, not at all.  It means we get to learn about his religion and he gets to learn about ours and we all can respect and celebrate with others"
Daughter: "and it's fine to love and marry someone who is different from you, right?"
Mom: "of course"

pause while daughter thinks.

Daughter: "Oh I get it.  It's just like Dave and Jim, Michael's fathers" {more mutual friends}
Mom (thinking to herself that this conversation might go in an unexpected direction): Yes, it is like Dave and Jim.

Daughter: "Yes, it's EXACTLY like that.  Because Dave's Jewish and Jim isn't!"

I have much hope for future generations.

Originally posted to ItsJessMe on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 01:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers.

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