February 2008 sees the arrival of the latest instalment in Matt Vinyl's progeny. As someone who is always conscious of the pension problems that aging populations face, I've been busy over the last seven years creating offspring. The arrival of number four ensures that I'll have at least that many to carry the box into Glasnevin Cemetery when my time is up. Kids are a funny sort. They're made even funnier when you see your own hang ups, characteristics and traits manifest themselves in them. Sometimes its like looking into a mirror or listening to a tape of myself. I often hear them come out with the sort of shit that only I'd come up with. The advent of children in your life sees you contemplating certain questions that you'd never considered before, such as: 'What school to send them to?', 'What size car you need to transport them?' and 'Have we anyone to mind four kids whilst we're at the Electric Picnic?'
Another topic that created much debate in conversation with the Don Rosco, Kittser, the Mullet and Kate B last weekend was 'Should we introduce children to the concept of organised religion?' Although I was raised a Catholic, all my practising never made me any better at it. Nevertheless, I've a positive indifference to that particular religion given that it's the one I know most about. If the truth be told I'm actually very interested in religion and have studied (and once taught) the subject over the years. I'm not cracked on the doctrinal elements of most, nor the fundamental premise that they're based on, but the practice of religion is at least aspirational at heart. It's probably the last great lie to hang on to once the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa are shown up for what they are. Hope is a good thing. As such, my kids have thus far been baptised into my old faith. The eldest is now reaching Communion age and we've decided that it's time to feign interest for his benefit. The trouble is that neither me nor Mrs Vinyl are inclined to bring the child to Mass. We made a couple of attempts in December and one of them saw us turn up in St Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street for their weekly Gospel Mass. It was a good buzz and the music was great but fundamentally it was mass. You can paper over the cracks, but the foundations are still the same! The mood was lightened somewhat by a couple of charismatic types who would stand in the aisles with arms outstretched and eyes closed. I'm into those kind of buzzers. They're earnest and it's a trait that I increasingly admire in people. I'm not a man for new years resolutions so I'll make this a life change type thingy instead. I'm going to try to be more earnest. I'll keep you posted.