While waiting to drop the kids off at school today, aside from being horrified at the chaos in the parking lot, we had an interesting discussion about interfaith marriage. I asked the kids, do you think you will marry someone who isn't Jewish?
Mac said, probably, there aren't that many Jewish girls out there. I can see from his perspective that is probably true. As he has more experiences in life, he might find that there are more Jewish options than he thought. This point of view was a spring board into the next question: How will you raise your kids?
As you all know, I believe strongly in choosing one religion over the other. I was semi-pleased when he said, "I don't know, I guess we would wait until we had a baby and decide." At least he did not say "we would do both." I discussed the importance of making that decision much earlier on. Granted the kid is 10 and this is not exactly something that will happen in the near term. Interestingly it brought up some emotions for me.
I have dedicated a significant amount of effort to ensure that my kids have a strong Jewish identity. I think some place in my heart I feel like it would be an epic fail if my kids didn't have Jewish families. Isn't that an interesting turn of events. This from the person who gets all upset when people give me a hard time about my inter-marriage is going to be upset if my kids inter-marry.
Well, more specifically, if the do inter-marry, I want them to have Jewish kids. I really have no idea what it means to have Jewish grandchildren, but after all the fighting with the preschool, elementary school, park district and other places about being inclusive, I guess I feel like it is giving in to the man to have the Jewishness stop with my kids. I have dedicated my life to this project and I want it to last.
I am sure that when my kids get married, MANY years from now, I may feel differently about things. I am sure I will try very hard to welcome and love who ever they choose to spend their lives with. I just really hope all this work isn't for naught. At the end of the day, they will do what they will do, and all I can do is love them and hope for the best.