San Francisco. Haven’t been in 4 years and happy to be back. Taking trips with a very smart and increasingly bull-headed and impatient seven-year old is challenging. While the conversation is much more interesting and he can appreciate the cultural activities more, the talk back and need for independence is grating if I am ever low on energy or in a less than great mood.
I remember family vacations when I was young; we were lucky to take one or more a year and I want to make sure Teddy sees some sights while he’s growing up. But….24/7 in a hotel room is slightly claustrophobic for both of us. Anyway, it’s been much more fantastic than annoying and I’m sad for the trip to end but ready to go home.
While here I had some work meetings and Teddy was able to come and help out and contributed in a very special way. Otherwise it was tourist central for us. The Exploratorium, a ferry ride around the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s hard to believe it’s July here as it’s been in the 60’s and the boat ride was freezing!
The W Hotel, which was gifted to us by a wonderful friend treated us like royalty. It’s right in the middle of tons of art museums and cultural galleries, a park, movie theaters and all great easy to walk to restaurants and shops.
Anyway, I am not religious and I’m not Catholic but I have wanted to expose my son to religions and at the least let him see churches and synagogues. He went to a temple pre-school but doesn’t remember it. We celebrate Christmas and Chanukah, just because it’s nice to as I did when I was growing up (as soon as my parents divorced my mother bought a Christmas tree and put angels up all over the house.) When we were in New York last year I wanted to take my son to St. Patrick’s Cathedral but we never had the chance. Today, I saw our church opportunity at another St. Patrick’s and one I later discovered is quite popular in San Francisco.
Across from a park we were playing catch in is a very attractive church and today I saw the doors were open. After tossing the ball for 45 minutes or so I told Teddy I wanted to go into the church and we did. Just our luck, Mass was beginning. Honestly, religion or not, churches are quite beautiful to me and this one had wonderful beamed ceilings and gorgeous stained glass windows. I learned it was Irish and the green marble was sent from Ireland; a very stunning place. The priest was a charming man and the sermon was on improving ones lot in life (as Mary Magdalene did).
Teddy was interested and asked to stay! He had no idea what to do or how to respond but he did appreciate the atmosphere and the idea of it. I was pleased. I told him that whether one believes what is being spoken of in church or whether one believes in God or the teachings of the Bible, it is a place that can be used as sanctuary, as a place to find peace and fellowship. Obviously I did not get into all the negatives of church and religion; there’s no need to now. The notion of having a safe haven is appealing and I think we all need one whether it is a religion, a sense of spirituality, an interest or hobby, family, a loved one… whatever.
We’ll go to a temple back in LA when we have time. In the meantime, I know he wants to believe in prayer at the very least. I can verify without a doubt (for myself at least) that having a higher power helps me. Last week I asked for guidance on something and literally the next day it came in the form of an email from someone whom I hadn’t heard from in over 6 years who gave me the information I was praying about. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’ll take it.
Life is good. It’s as good as I allow it to be. Sometimes I need help remembering that and I find myself saying it to my son all the time. I think I’m really saying it aloud so I can be reminded of it. There are really very few ‘real’ problems and we’re conditioned to make mountains out of molehills. My goal for myself on a personal level is to keep things right-sized.
When you have a child, starting over at any time during the day is helpful. It can be a constant battle of wills and I’ve told my son that if we’re having a hard day or he is or I am separately, we are allowed to start that day over at any time. This is part of what the priest discussed. It’s never to late to wipe the slate clean, whether you go from a prostitute to a saint or just a bad mood to good. Again, the reminder is that I can choose to make my life good or bad. It’s not up to anyone else. Thanks to the service today, I was oddly reminded that even the worst sinner can be restored, lol.