I came out to my mother on Christmas. It wasn't planned that way, she simply sat next to me at dinner. I thought I'd be safe at the kid's table. But the number of kids has been slowly dwindling over recent years, as they grow up and move off to the eagerly awaited table of "grown-ups". I saw this opportunity to return to the safety of the kid's table and quickly set my can of Dr. Pepper to claim my spot.
I was more than a little surprised to see my mother sitting next to me when I returned with my plate, after seeing that my own two young-in's were served and seated. It was an incredible meal. I do love my prime rib and mashed potatoes. Fresh Parker rolls, steamed broccoli with lemon-Dijon-butter sauce, and the gravy was for the potatoes, not the meat. It didn't need it. It was just that fabulous. And now I'm hungry just thinking about it.
We kept to small talk as we shoveled the food in. But eventually we ran out of food on our plates and pleasantries , and I delved into more meaningful conversation.
I wanted to share my newest passion, this incredibly freeing understanding of the world around me. The realization that I am free from that god I grew up fearing. The all-knowing mind-reader who had a special plan for me. Creepy guy in the sky. Of course I wanted to share this important realization with my mom. While we haven't been very close lately, I still love my mom. And while there are other meaningful topics I could have engaged in... okay, maybe one other topic. But I don't want to talk about my health. I want to share something important to me. I was literally bursting at the seams to share my news.
And so I did. I told her that I had recently decided that I was no longer agnostic, but that I'm atheist. And not only that, I tried to explain that I have concerns about religion that may make it difficult to just sit back and let others believe in something that could be potentially harmful. I went on to explain that I feel like a young atheist because I don't yet have the words to explain how I feel about it. I don't yet feel armed with the arguments to express how I feel about religion. I feel that I need to learn the verbiage, understand better the concepts and concerns, so I can communicate my passion with others.
And I would think that any mother would want that for their child... to feel passionately about something that they can share with the world. I know that as a mother myself.

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Comment by Jessica Lenehan on January 12, 2011 at 4:26pm
Backwards indeed! I'm grateful to have a close friend who shares my views. Without such, I'm sure I'd alienate my family in no time. I do hope to one day challenge their views, but don't yet feel ready.
Comment by Jessica Lenehan on January 11, 2011 at 10:21pm
Overall, I think she took it well. She remained calm, but felt the need to give me all the reasons why she believes in god. I got the impression she doesn't fully believe me. As if it's just a stage I'm going through.
She lives out of town and we don't talk much, so I haven't had much contact with her since that day.



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