Being married to a die hard Cubs fan has its up and downs. We love going to the games in Chicago (if you have never been there is nothing like it) and the excitement of the games can be fun. He is so very passionate about his love for the team, but having family connections to the Cardinals adds to the family dynamic.
From day one, Mr. Sharktank has told Matthew how great the Chicago Cubs are (even with their struggles over the years :) Every baseball season we are sure to deck him out in Cubs gear and take pictures. But, now that Matthew is four he knows that we live in St. Louis and his uncle plays for the Cardinals. This causes quite the dilemma for him. We have his father who tells him the Cubs are the best team to root for, but then he watches his uncle play on television and at the games. I often hear Mr. Sharktank telling Matthew that "the Cardinals are mean, the Cubs are nice, but you can cheer for your uncle." I repeatedly tell Matthew he can make his own decisions, but at his age I have no clue if he understands that.
Well, I walk into the kitchen on Thursday afternoon. I see Matthew sitting at the table eating snack. He looks up at the ceiling and I hear him say, "Dear Jesus can you please talk to my daddy and tell him to like the Cardinals? Can you tell him that he can like the Cubs and Cardinals?" He then saw me and asked me if I could pray to Jesus and God to help daddy like both teams.
Now, I know the goal of prayer is not to ask God for things, but this is not the first time Matthew has prayed or told me to pray to God. If anytime he hears of someone who is sick, he immediately tells me that I need to "talk to God and tell him that you are scared or sick." Every time he says something like this my heart melts. We are not a super religious family, but we do say prayers every night, read bible stories, go to Mass, and Matthew attends a Lutheran preschool program. When we go to church he recognizes some of the readings that are read and he gets excited and tells us about them in his own words. I am proud that he is catching on to everything in church, his teachers, and what we teach and read to him.
As parents, Mr. Shartank and I feel that faith and religion need to be a part of our children's lives. The expectations of going to church, saying prayers, and respecting our religion is a must. While they are children we will make sure they are raised in our faith, but when they are older I hope that they continue to follow religion and let their faith help them find their way. Whether that takes them to a different religion or not, that is up to them, but I am glad that Matthew is showing us that he is listening now and trusting in the Lord above at this young of an age (even if it is just to pray that daddy will grow to love both rivaling baseball teams).