black and white photo of kids near a christmas tree

Why Bother Reconsidering?

It is during our formative years that we first get a taste for the things in life. Parents introduce their offspring to certain foods, styles of clothing and music, various genres of books, forms of entertainment, family traditions as well as matters of faith and religion. Then, as adults, we have the choice to consider for ourselves whether what we’ve tasted agrees with our palate. 

Making our Choices

Somehow, Mom always managed to put dinner on the table every night for the nine of us, a job that I suppose was almost herculean. Her menu did not stray too far from serving some kind of beef, along with mashed potatoes, gravy, a frozen vegetable and Wonder bread. But on Friday nights she served fish. Sometimes it was frozen fish sticks or creamed tuna on toast. 

As an adult, I’ve left behind the tradition of eating creamed tuna on toast or fish sticks. I like fish, but I buy it fresh and grill it on any given night of the week. 

The clothing style Mom preferred for me was plaid skirts. Shopping for school clothes with her was painful. I hated plaids, but had no choice. I recall the one time I held up a skirt of my choice and she said, “That is too plain.” 

The only plaid I possess nowadays are the plaid flannel shirts I wear around the house in the winter. Hanging in my closet are my plain colored tan, blue, black, and gray skirts.

Mom and Dad listened and danced to the music of Tommy Dorsey, The Glenn Miller Band and Benny Goodman. Later, Mom’s taste turned to the sound of jazz from artists such as John Cotrane, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. 

As a teenager, John Denver was my first favorite flavor of music, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young came in second favorite. Swing and Jazz were never my forte. 

My appetite for books is voracious. I’m always reading at least three books at a time. From whom this appetite developed I am not sure. Mom only read newspapers and magazines and the only books I saw Dad read were the bedtime stories he read to us. 

Except for the evening news and the Ed Sullivan Show the television wasn’t on much in our house, nor do I find myself entertained by it as an adult. 

Family traditions such as celebrating the holidays and birthdays remain though I do not garnish my Christmas tree with tinsel. 

The spiritual nourishment I received as a child was not necessarily sweet, but rather scary and laborious. Confessing my sins to an unknown and unseen priest in the tiny boxed room called a confessional, viewing the icon of Jesus hanging dead and bloody on the cross, kneeling nightly as a family to say the rosary during the season of lent did not resonate with my heart, but instead left it empty and cold. 

Though I’ve left those traditions behind, I’ve not left faith behind. Instead, my faith lives and grows with quiet contemplation, daily reading and journaling, and unrelenting trust in the living and loving Creator who sustains my life.  

Why bother reconsidering? We all started out as children whose tastes were influenced by well meaning and loving parents. But as adults, we respectfully choose our own flavors in life.

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