Two years ago, when my oldest daughter started public school, she began learning more about other faiths. In Kindergarten, when she came home wanting to know why we didn’t have a menorah at Christmas like two of her classmates, I reminded her that they had celebrated Hanukkah, which is different from Christmas. Our discussion of the different holidays led her to then ask me, “What is Jewish and how are they different?” Another great question from my then five year old.
While we talked about the differences in the Jewish faith and Christianity, I noticed tears forming in her eyes. I couldn’t imagine what I’d said to upset her. She tearfully asked me how anyone could not believe that Jesus was God’s son that He sent to us? I tried to gently remind her that not everyone believes as we do, and different people believe different things, especially about faith and religion. Then she smiled and said, “That’s ok mommy, I can explain it to them tomorrow on the playground.” In my head, I could already imagine the phone calls about my daughter evangelizing at recess. Since she is such a gentle soul and truly wishes all the best for her friends it was difficult to tell her she really shouldn’t do that at school. We decided that if they ever asked her, then she could take that opportunity to discuss it with them privately.