DH and I are usually so busy with our brood of 4 kids all six and under that we like to just relax at home whenever we can. We used to have close friends when we lived in another city but that was 8 years ago and we really now only have acquaintances. With the oldest of my 4 kids now starting to have more playdates, some of these parents are extending invitations to us for things like bbqs / dinners. We were thrilled, especially since we can bring the kids and hang with the adults. Now these are all parents from my son’s Catholic school. But since the first invite to present, we’ve been more than uncomfortable at these gatherings and I’m wondering if we’re destined to be friendless as parents.
You see while these parents go to mass and their kids go to Catholic school, they’re more like cafeteria Catholics. Just a month ago we went to a bbq after being invited by this family after mass. There were other adults there that were not from church or the school. Anyway the couple that invited us asked us if we wanted a “real” drink after we said we’d have soda. No big deal, we like the occassional drink. But then the night progressed with the goal of all the adults getting drunk. The one son of this couple ran into the kitchen and asked his mom if he could pour the shots for the adults (he’s eight). Then later on the deck, he asked one of the other guests if the cigarette they were smoking had the kind of smoke that went to your brain. Also I saw my oldest son come up the stairs from the basement with his younger brother and sister in tow. When I asked why he wasn’t downstairs with the other kids he said it was because the other kids were playing a video game where it showed people being killed and there was blood and guts. Again, the oldest kid at this party was 8!
That’s just the most recent example. I have so many. I want so badly for our family to be around other families because isn’t socializing important? But if I’m finding that the Catholic families we know are really no different from non-Christian families then what are we to do? Just hang out with them for the company? Go it alone? Or find Protestant families to hang out with - in my experience as a child the protestants I knew were all about Jesus and morals and still we had fun whenever we visited. In the end my own parents ended these friendships because they were being pressured to be baptized in the Baptist Church and my folks were like, hey, we’re Catholic and here for the company not to change religions.