Eirinn, being a Catholic school kid, has been told by her teacher that when we do bad things, it’s not us doing them, but the devil. Satan-atan-atan. Being a supportive mother in all things, including their semi-religious upbringing, I can get behind this theory. Especially if it gives me an excuse to do bad things. “It wasn’t me; it was that asshole, Satan. Jerk gets everything blamed on me. I’m innocent of all charges relating to this crime. Talk to Satan. He’s the one who’s got some explaining to do.”
Every once in a while, I’ll catch Eirinn with a tear in her eye after she’s been scolded for some misdeed. “What’s wrong?” I’ll ask. “It wasn’t me, mom. It was the devil.” Now, my kids are master manipulators, so don’t think for one second I’m not completely on to her deal. But still… If she’s committed enough to this concept to produce real tears and everything, I’ll hear her out.
However, this morning I decided to elaborate on her teacher’s version. Sure, I can support “the devil made me do it” … to an extent. There’s just that pesky free will that puts a wrench in the thing. If we’re Team God, then we acknowledge that He gave us free will; the ability to choose what we do and say. Our behaviour is our own doing. Sure, the devil may sit on our shoulders and whisper sweet nothings about pinching our sister or making a Barbie accessory hurricane or taking a VERY inappropriate tone with our parents, but our free will allows us to decide whether or not to act upon these thoughts. The devil can be very loud and very convincing; with free will, we have the ability to be good people because we can choose to ignore what that asshole says.
Eirinn thought free will was a stupid idea. Unaccountability sounded much more appealing to her. Take this morning, for example. She most certainly did NOT tell me within earshot of her sister that she wishes Avery would just shut up already because she didn’t want to hear her talk. She would NEVER do such a thing. It was Satan. So obviously it’s not HER who should be getting in big trouble because SHE didn’t do it. Put Satan into time out.
Catholic school is awesome.