I have been reading Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls to the children this week. Alex has been pretty captivated. Alex and I got teary-eyed together when Jack, the dog, was swept away in the river. We admired Ma and Pa as they built their home on the prairie. We were horrified by the wolves. That's about as far as we have read...
The other day I was finishing up Alex's religion lesson. He answered every question right, with authority and understanding. I gave him a big high five for his astute knowledge. I told him that religion was his best subject. He gave a big smile. "Uh huh, Mommy, and you know what? I am going to be a priest when I grow up."
"Oh, are you?" I don't take this too seriously, because whatever Alex is really interested in at the moment he tells us that is what he will do when he grows up. To this date he will be a doctor, an astronaut, a lego designer, a daddy, a computer game engineer, and an animator. He has lots of ambition. So it does not really surprise me that he said he wanted to be a priest immediately after hearing his best subject is religion. But wait a second, yes it is a significant moment. This is what I have been striving for all year in home school--an inkling of faith.
I remember in first grade, after I had been formally introduced to the faith and to holy orders, doing as my teacher had told me--to pray to God and ask Him if He was calling me to religious life. I remember telling God that if He wanted me to be a nun, I would. I wanted this for Alex. I wanted him to make a real connection with the faith. It is clear he has.
He followed his declaration by telling me all about his life as a priest. He said he would be a priest here. He would be my priest. He would build a church in the way that Pa built the little house on the prairie. Then he would build a church hall, because every church needs a place to gather and socialize. Then he would build a playground where all the children could play while their parents visit, and it would be where the parents could see it from the church hall. Then he would build a convent and a school. The nuns would teach at the school. In his spare time, he would design computer games. Fr. Alex we are praying for you! I would love for my son to be a priest.