Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Between the Houses

When the first missionaries came to this land two centuries ago, they stole the Dreaming from the Aborigines and replaced it with the fear of God. They called the rituals that they didn't understand, bad. They took something that was untamed and joyous and put a barbed wire fence around it.

This fence was around Z this morning. He woke us up with breakfast in bed again. He was so chuffed with himself. 

"Oh my God," PJ or I said, I can't remember who, when Z told us that he had also made his own breakfast and for the first time ever, his own lunch.

Even though PJ and Z's mum's differences were so great as to cause them to divorce, on the whole the parenting Z receives in our house and his mum's is similar in style. Though of course there are some major divergences.

"Don't say Oh my God," Z said to us. "God is a rude word."

This issue has come up before and each time, PJ and I have explained that even if you believe in God, to say Oh my God is not being rude, it's just an expression.

Z's mum doesn't believe in God, but being the daughter of religious missionaries, it's not surprising that she censors Z according to her parents' conservatism.

I think Z's mum lets Z have a bit too much sugar and watch too much TV, but these differences are so minor compared to this indoctrination; compared to this suffocation of innocent Dreaming and the instilling of fear of something that doesn't exist.

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