My sister called today. She chit-chatted a bit, telling me they had accidently taken home one of my utensils in their salad when they came over for dinner on Labor Day. Then she got to the point of her call.... Dad called her yesterday. He is worried. The kids are old enough to make their own decisions about church...
What the F?
Yes, I know. Where did this all come from. Let's go back to Saturday morning...
I was out shopping, pretty early. Picking up produce from a community co-op, getting a hair cut and then doing some needed shopping at Costco at the beginning of a very over-scheduled day.
As I was driving home, I got a text from a number not in my phone book:
"Tried you a couple of times. Have not canceled your recommend. Would like to try one more time to talk. Would like you to not use it though until we meet. Thnx."Me: Bishop? You've tried calling? When? Are you kidding me? Not meeting. I will bring it to you tomorrow. You can have it.
"Tried this morning and tried to catch you the other night. Not what I want but following what I feel, Sarah. I love and care about you and your family."
Me: K. Do what you need to do. I've had it with this church and its Christ-like followers.
I pulled in the garage from my shopping and called Scott to cry on his shoulder. Then I went inside where my daughter apologized. The bishop had called twice so she finally, reluctantly gave him my cell number, knowing that the result would not be plesant. I unloaded my purchases, and then had to leave to pick up another child from a slumber party. On my way, I stopped at the bishop's house and gave my recommend to his grown daughter that answered the door. I said simply, "Give this to your dad.", then turned and took off back to my car.
Here's the thing...
I haven't heard anything for like 3 weeks, and suddenly on Stake Temple day, he is desperate to get in touch with me to tell me not to use my recommend? What about all the times I used it in the 3 weeks? Wouldn't he care about that too, or is it all about appearances? I think he was afraid that someone (read: the person who is my facebook friend and "told" on me) will see me at the temple and then disapprove of the fact that he has allowed me to still have my recommend. Because it was a busy day, with a soccer game and the teenagers doing temple baptisms in the afternoon, I could not figure out a way to make it to the temple myself. But at one point I was planning to go. I'm glad the whole thing ended up not shattering any elaborate plans...
The kids decided not to do baptisms (my daughter discovered her recommend was expired), but they did want to go to church the next day. So even though I was planning on Saturday to take a break on Sunday, I got up and got everyone ready and off we went. I took my son over to the church first so that he would be on time to pass the Sacrament. When we arrived back at the church with the rest of us, the Sacrament was nearly over, so we soon snuck into the back. Right after sitting down, the program commenced, and the first speaker announced that she had been assigned to talk about "following the prophet."
You've got to be kidding, right?
I turned to my daughter, said I can't do this, then waded back through the people in the overflow area with all my bags and 3 kids in tow, leaving the oldest two as they desired.
We went in the foyer and sat on the couch, but I could still hear the talk, so that wasn't going to work.
So, we went home.
30 minutes later I took two of the kids back to the church so they could practice for the Primary Program (which is in two weeks, with Stake Conference in between). I returned home and spent a lovely 2 hours with my baby, playing and snuggling and napping.
Then, for the 4th time, I returned to the church to pick up the kids, delivering my oldest son and a friend to another area of the neighborhood to do fast offering call-backs prior to returning home.
AND MY DAD THINKS I SHOULD LET MY KIDS CHOOSE IF THEY WANT TO GO TO CHURCH? WHAT THE HELL DID I DO ALL MORNING? TAKE CARE OF MYSELF, AND ONLY MYSELF?
Sorry for yelling.
You see, the thing is, I called my mom Sunday afternoon, and after I told her about my recommend, I also mentioned that I didn't think I could handle going to church any more, and she started lecturing me about how my kids needed the church to teach them values and such, and so I told her I wasn't in the mood for a lecture and that our conversation needed to be over.
I was even thinking of calling my parents today for the typical chit-chat with them every couple of days. But before I had done so, my sister called, and I was so depressed and furious over the whole thing that there is no way I think I can talk to them for a few days. I don't know if my mom misunderstood me, or if my dad misinterpreted what my mom told him, but of course the kids have a choice. Anyone who knows me would know that I would not keep that agency from my children. Do they all think I've turned into some kind of monster, these people who have known me all my life?
Who knows. Maybe I have. And with each stupid thing like this that happens, I want more and more to be done with this life. I could not kill myself, but I certainly wish I was dead more and more frequently all of the time. Bring on the hell I deserve, sooner than later, because it certainly can't be any worse than the hell I am experiencing daily here on Earth.