Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Scary to an 8-Year-Old Boy?

Happy Halloween! Another one is here and no Halloween Gala to speak of. It will happen. One day. On Saturday we let our kids have a party, complete with costumes and severed-finger cookies. It was awesome. My husband was worried about the whole worlds-colliding thing as the party was all-inclusive... as long as you were a 12-year-old girl or an 8-year-old boy.

After an hour of Minute-to-Win-It games, the girls gathered around the kitchen island for treats while the boys did the same - around the kitchen table. The girls were enjoying their chips and salsa when one of the boys expressed his interest in said chips and salsa.

"Well go ahead and get yourself some," I offered. Aren't I a gracious hostess?

"But those girls scare me," said the 8-year-old hobbit.

So I fixed him up a little plate of his own. After all, Halloween shouldn't be THAT scary.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Standing Up

Once again, and for what I'm sure won't be the last time, my church is being targeted in the media. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been the target of persecution and hatred since it was founded. In the early days, the governor of Missouri actually put out an extermination order against "the Mormons" and thousands of people had to flee or be killed. Many of them were killed.

I honestly don't care if someone calls us a cult. It's just a word. It can only do harm if I allow it to. Intelligent people will go straight to the source if they want to know if we're all just a bunch of cultists.

We teach our children (and each other) to be good and honest people. To serve others. To have integrity. We try our best to live clean lives; to avoid those things that are damaging to the soul - and we teach our kids to do the same. Chastity before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage. Is that so bad? We believe that families are eternal and strong families build strong societies. We're taught to pray continually; to keep a little prayer in our hearts. We send our 19-year-old boys out into the far reaches of the world, not simply to convert others, but so that they might convert themselves. So that they can spend two years learning to depend on and trust in God; that sacrificing something good now will result in something better later. They learn about other cultures and learn to love and respect the people they meet and serve. They come home as men who are ready to tackle their education, careers, and who hopefully understand what it means to actually be a man. And just for good measure, a lot of our young women go out there and show the boys how it's done! Most importantly, we believe Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. We strive to "choose the right;" in other words, to do what Jesus would do.

If we're a cult, then I am ALL IN.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stop This Train

I feel old. Not in the achy-body-where's-the-Geritol sense; but more in the my-kids-are-growing-up sense.

In the last few days I have had two very important discussions with my kids. I had the truth-about-Santa Claus talk with my 8-year-old and the truth-about-where-babies-come-from with my 12-year-old. I've been meaning to have that talk with the 12-year-old for a while now, but she really wasn't ready (nor was I) until now. Her reaction? "That's just gross."

As for the 8-year-old, he's 8 going on 32, so the timing was right. He was helping me take some things down to the basement when he said, "I really hate to bring this up with Christmas just around the corner, but are you and Dad really the ones who get all the Christmas presents for us?" After confirming his suspicions, he kicked a rubber ball across the room (thankfully our basement is empty) and said, "Dang it! I wanted him to be real!"

I suggested that maybe now he would have some fun getting in on the magic for his younger cousins. His reaction: "Yeah, but that will cost a lot of money!" Always the capitalist.

I feel like I've taken away a little something from them now. A little innocence, a little bit of their childhood, a little bit of fun. But then again, I'd be devastated if they found these things out from any other source; because the truth is, I will always tell them the truth. Always. Even if it hurts me a little.

A couple of days later, my son lost a tooth. He walked right up to me and said, "I'm guessing the tooth fairy isn't real either?"

"Talk to your dad," I said.

"Nope," Dan said rather bluntly.

"What about the Easter Bunny?"

"No, But you know who IS real?"



The next morning I gave him a dollar for his tooth.