In an article in Newsweek this week, Lisa Miller writes "he grew up in a nonobservant home and, like many people, became interested in religion when he had children." She is talking about a Rabbi who made a list of the top fifty most influential Jews.
Is this true? Many people who never thought about religion before having children, suddenly take an interest?
I thought about my own situation, and I wouldn't say that having kids has increased my interest in religion. It has, however, increased my interest in how people obtain and pass down religious beliefs - and how that translates to how we educate our children.
There is something about having children that makes us realize our own mortality. Or, by having children, we come face to face with the reality that they are living, breathing beings who we are responsible for. Perhaps these two elements of awareness do bring about a certain need for religion - to have a way to put a name on the pure connectedness we feel with our children.
I have always been interested in religion, but it wasn't until I was a parent that I recognized what I was really looking for was a way to feel connected to the universe. My children give me that. They are about as close as any of us can get to again being one with the innocence of the universe, without dying ourselves.
Maybe that's why holding an infant in our arms is so breathtaking - they have just come from the infinite nothing that is "before" life. Holding a baby is very close to touching the universe, and the source of all that is living.