Friday, April 1, 2011

It took 22 years.

I took my boys to see my parents this week. It was not a huge deal, but it was something that I needed to do. You see, I do not visit my parents as often as I should. I love them, but it is sometimes difficult to be with them for any extended amount of time. (That is another blog.)

Back to my point: visiting my parents. We were driving around town with my mom. My children were peppering me with questions about how their dad and I met. (We met in high school, but for more info, click here. My children know the stories, but whenever we go to my hometown, more questions pop into their curious, wonderful minds.) As I was being questioned by my children, we drove by an LDS church. Then this conversation occurred:

Son #2: "Hey, that's a Mormon church! Mom, did you go there when you were a kid?"

My mother:"No, she didn't start going there until high school."

Son #1: "Is that when you met dad?"

Me: "No, sweetie. I told you that daddy and I met in high school."

Son #2: "Did you and dad go to that church together, then?"

Me: "Yes, mommy and daddy went to church, mutual, and even church dances there."

My mother (very quietly, so my children couldn't hear): "She went to a bigger church when she was little."

We chatted along this line for a little bit longer. All the while, my mother sat uncomfortably in front passenger seat. The fact that I am Mormon never really sits well with her. But, she is polite (if not annoyed by the questions that relate to my faith.)

This conversation would be insignificant except for what happened twenty minutes later. We were leaving my old high school, and son #2 asked if I would take him to and from school when he was in high school. (Remember, I teach where I live, and my sons will go to the school where I work.) This led to a discussion of what classes he would take, and eventually the topic of early morning Seminary came up. I explained to my children that they would have a church class every morning before school. They did not seem to think too much of this until my  mother (uncharacteristically) asked, "Why do they have to take a church class?"

Shock crossed my face. My mother never asks anything about my church, let alone a "Why?" question. We do not avoid Gospel centered conversation around my parents/siblings, but whenever the Gospel comes up, my parents/siblings tune out and rejoin the conversation when the topic changes back to something more pleasing to them. She also dutifully attended baptisms, only because she was happy that at least two of her grandchildren would have "some sort of baptism." (The other 10 grandchildren are not baptized under any religion.)  So the fact that my mother did not disengage from this conversation and actually asked a question, truly shocked me.

So, I jumped in, albeit hesitantly. I explained that my husband and I expect our sons to go on missions and that Seminary would help prepare them for a mission. She continued by asking how an early morning class would help them more than "regular" high school. (Did I mention that I am still in shock?) I explained that they will still attend "regular" high school classes, but that this class is specifically designed to reinforce the things that my boys learn on Sunday. It is designed to help them become familiar enough with the scriptures in order to be able to teach other people. I also explained that in some countries, missionaries are not allowed to enter unless they have some sort of certificate of religious training, and Seminary meets that qualification.

She seems appeased by my answer; although, it did not take a genius to guess that she is not thrilled about her grandsons leaving for two years to teach other people about our church. She is a funny lady, but at least she finally asked a question. It only took 22 years.

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