Want to have some fun? Here's an idea...buy your 9-year-old daughter "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" (by Judy Blume of course, for those of you who are not 30-something women) and start to read it out loud to her. You will REALLY love it when you get to the first mention of Playboy and then you surrepticiously look up to see what her reaction is and you can tell that she knew exactly what it was and took it all in stride.
I actually think I can already tell what topic will receive the most attention from her - it will be the religion thing. For those of you who did NOT read this book 30 times in a row between the time you were 9 and 11, I shall elaborate. Margaret Simon is the child of a mixed marriage - Jewish father, Christian mother. So she was brought up with pretty much no religion. Her paternal grandmother is always pressuring her to date a nice Jewish boy. Well, that set my girl off. "Why does she care if she dates a Jewish boy? Wouldn't it be more interesting to date someone who's a different religion? That way if you get married, you'll have more holidays to celebrate. As a matter of fact, I'm going to marry a 'Hannakah Man' [her words, not mine] so that I can celebrate Hannakah!" (Oy, vey....my Southern Baptist grandparents are going to LOVE that one...)
It was interesting. You could tell that she was COMPLETELY baffled by the fact that "different religions" could possibly be an issue for anyone. When I read this book, I remember thinking that the grandparents should have been more supportive, but I think I was also surprised that people from different religions married each other and could empathize with their shock. I could be wrong, but it seems like that concept rocked my world - kind of like a cat marrying a dog or something. I probably thought Margaret's parents were cool for being rebels and getting married.
But I can tell my daughter doesn't see anything rebellious about Margaret's parents at all. You love someone, you get married - end of story. Religion be damned. (So to speak...)
So - it really makes me wonder about her future soulmate. I get rather excited when I think about it - and I eagerly anticipate what we have ahead of us for the next few years. (Although I know I'll be eating those words when some of you throw them back in my face once she hits 7th grade....I expect the "eager anticipation" shall be replaced by "who is this crazy half-woman in my house?????"....)