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Eat, Pray, Parent

One child's research on religions leads to debates at the dinner table.

When my oldest son was 12, he informed me that he didn't think it was fair that I picked his religon. We were Catholic and he made a solid case about why he didn't think it was fair that just because he was born into a Catholic family, he had to be one.

So, being that I felt like a open-minded individual that day, I told him if he made an equally solid choice about choosing a faith, he could follow whatever faith he chose.

I informed him that as an expirenced human being, faith is sometimes the only thing that will get you through the challenges you face. So, it was very important to me that whatever choice he made, he had to follow through.

He made good on this. We went to a synaguoge which I found very interesting and, being that we have one of the oldest in the country, I felt fortunate.

We went to an Episcopalian service, a Protestant service and a Baptist service.

We research Buddhism, Tibetan followings and paganism.

My mom says Cameron walks to a unique drum and I have to agree. It was an interesting few months.

At the end of this adventure, Cameron remained Catholic, but became a vegetarian, I think because of the Tibetan faith that says everything has a soul. I'm not really sure.

So at 12-years-old, I had the challenge of balancing a vegetarian with a carnivore. And, the battles you see at protests between the two would rage regularly in our house.

Mac would sit down to eat his steak tips and find a PETA sticker on the bottom of the plate. Cameron would reach for his hummus and find KFC stickers on the lid.

I would make numerous calls to the doctor about dietary concerns with a growing preteen, keeping the vegetarian and carnivore away from one another.

Cameron is now 17-years-old and very healthy at 6'3" and 190lbs. Being a vegetarian is challenging now only when we eat out.

He still gets upset when I have grilled tofu and steak tips on my plate, but he doesn't put stickers on the bottom of our plates anymore. Making dinner requires a little extra thought, but is essentially a breeze.

Everyone in the house eats a lot more fruits and vegetables than I think we would have had he not become a vegetarian. I guess it's like faith. You pick what you believe in and follow through.

 

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