It would be hypocritical, if it were all about me, but it isn't.
This is about an eight year old boy.
This is about an eight year old boy who happens to go to a school in his catchment area that happens to be a faith school, and a faith school that is not the faith in which he, himself was christened.
This is about a boy whose parents are christian, but do not attend church and perhaps are leaning towards agnostic beliefs rather than following the New Testament. This is because they are aware that the world is a huge place, full of diversity and diversity doesn't lend itself towards the teachings of the Bible in the strictest sense of the word.
This is about whether it is "right" that the boy should attend this school and more so, attend a papal visit, when his parents are "non-believers" and not catholic.
But, this is about the boy.
It is not about the parents.
It is about an eight year old boy who attends a faith school in his catchment as there was a place and it is an excellent school. It is about a boy who loves his school and his friends and was caught up in the hype and excitment of a papal visit and wanted to celebrate this famous person's visit with his friends and this is about the boy who's parents love him and want him to be happy.
When we have kids we sometimes have to make decisions that mean we have to step outside our comfort zone, or make decisions that might be for the good of the child, but not necessarily sit as well with us. These decisions can still be made in full consciousness. They can still be made from the heart. It can be made and explained that, although this might not be the choice or path taken by oneself, it might be the best path for them and that they are themselves and not us.
Their footsteps need to tread slightly outside our own.
Of course, there are decisions that we make as parents that we do enforce. "House rules"- the amount of media watched in a week, whether Nestle is a presence in the home, whether they may or may not stay out until a certain time on a school night. But many, many decisions we make, have to come with an element of what might be best for them even if it is against our principles.
A one off visit from someone I have issues with, or an education for a time in a faith school, is not an area I care to take the mighty hand to, neither is moving my children from country to country when they were young enough to not be completely affected. However, much as the next career move for Mr Beehive might well be internationally, for the boy and his siblings, it is not. Hence, we have made another decision that might put us in a different plane from the one we would like to pursue ourselves.
To grow into ourselves means looking outside the safety zone. Being a Christian means that too I think. It means taking the less selfish route, of doing something that is not for us, but that which may cause inner conflict and help us learn.
After all, the boy is the future and therefore, for life to be sustained, it must be about the boy.