When I was a full time sewist, people would always assume that my kids had wonderful, handmade Halloween costumes or that my daughter was really interested in sewing. They didn’t see the three years in a row that Charlotte wore a cat costume we picked up from a costume store. And while both of my children showed some interest in sewing little things, they have never asked for lessons or done any sewing on their own.
The same thought is expressed when people find out I’m a witch and a mother. There’s this idea that I am raising a couple of little witchlings who stir the cauldron with me and tuck their crystals under the pillows and cast spells on their stuffed animals. And again the truth is less exciting.
My children have learned that at any given moment they will find something “weird” on the kitchen counters. Sometimes it is a few dried beans that my son mistakes for zombie fingers. Sometimes it is a jar with rusty nails in it. They have learned 1) if they ask me I will tell them what it is that they are seeing and 2) not to eat or drink anything without checking with me first.
My daughter has identified as a Helenist for as long as she has been aware of religion in general. Part of her interest is due to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. For a while, when she was in grade school she was even slightly evangelical in her practice, asking people if they wanted to join her. In high school she started to become interested in crystals and witchcraft and has worked some jar spells.
My son is different. He’s a Lokison if ever there was one: a whirling child of chaos that keeps me on my toes, even when he’s sleeping. He is not so much religious as present in the universe. Currently he tells anyone who will listen that he is billions of years old, older than the universe and that he and God were in kindergarten together. He is eleven years old.
I’ve never tried to push my beliefs or practices on either of my children. I’ve just lived my life, told them what I was doing, and answered their questions. Having grown up in a religion that preached “do what I say, not what I do” put me off of any kind of indoctrination. Raising them not so much irreligious but uncoupled from any ideology was less a conscious choice and more just how it worked out. And how it worked out has been just fine, really.
What I have seen is an eagerness on their part to help me out with things. When writing the Wheel of the Year Craft Book they have both participated in making the crafts, even allowing me to use them as models for certain pictures. Since both were featured in Sew Witchy, this is a lovely continuation of what is now going to be a family tradition.
As they grow older they may move away from wanting to take part in that part of my life and that’s okay. I have always known that might be the case because they are individuals, not mini mes. Until that happens, I will always answer their questions honestly and give them opportunities to learn, to cast their own magick, and to make their own decisions.