You know how it only takes a small stone to break a window? Well, sometimes it only takes two sentences to ruin a day. Confused? Stay tuned.
Today is the seventh day that Brian’s been out of town. He won’t be back for four more days, and everybody in the family is feeling the strain. I’m exhausted, the house is a mess, and Katie has begun throwing Category Five temper tantrums. She’s developed a high-pitched scream that sounds like a steamboat whistle and has been clocked at around 120 decibels (roughly the same level as a sandblaster or a loud rock concert).
So you can imagine my apprehension about taking the children to church today, especially considering that our ward has Sacrament Meeting last. But I decided to stick it out. It was the right thing to do.
And know what? It wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t fun either, but it was bearable. We made it all the way to speaker #4 in Sacrament Meeting before I ducked out early. The kids had begun to squabble over toys, and Katie had started steamboating. Time to go.
The kids had lasted much longer than I anticipated, so I left feeling rather satisfied and happy with myself, until we rounded the hallway corner. A portly, balding older man with a cane caught my eye.
“The way your kids scream is awful,” he said.
“Yeah, Katie’s a screamer,” I said with a laugh, thinking he was commiserating about the difficulty of raising a toddler.
“No,” he growled. “I mean your kids are awful. Their behavior, the screaming . . .”
He went on and obviously had more to say, but fortunately I had already turned my back and headed down the hall. The noive! THE NOIVE! Did he think I wasn’t aware of my kids’ behavior? I HAVE LEFT CHURCH EARLY! OF COURSE I WAS AWARE! How on EARTH did he think how this going to HELP or CHANGE ANYTHING?
MORE WORDS IN ALL CAPS!!!!!! EX-CLA-MA-TION POINNNNNNNTS!!!!!
[deep breathing, deep breathing]
I suppose you could say this was kind of the last straw for me. I was having a happy moment! He ruined it!
What has happened to the secular LDS culture that makes people think it’s okay to say such judgmental things? Well . . . I know it’s probably been going on for ages in many LDS communities, but ithappens a lot in this ward. To me. I’ve put up with it for four years; to tell the truth, this makes me kind of happy to move away. (Maybe God sent this on purpose to make me not so sad to leave all the truly wonderful Christlike people around here?)
And I’ll blithely refrain from recounting the many times my kids have been bullied in Primary and Cub Scouts. It’s another reason why I want to get away, but it’s off-topic.
And to think I had almost skipped church to avoid something like this. But what would that teach my kids? That church is only for when it’s convenient? When it’s easy? For when you don’t have a kid with autism and a cranky toddler and a husband who’s far away?
How many other people decide to stop coming to church to avoid jerks like this guy?
Okay, rant over. Peace out.
7 thoughts on “Throwing Stones”
Oh what a jerk! I’m so sorry! I have had my parenting criticized soooo many times by neighbors and strangers, but never once at church. Church should be a sanctuary! I give you a big high five for setting the example for your children and taking them to church. I know it’s so hard, but forget about that guy. It’s not worth your mental energy to dwell on it. With 4 more days to go until Brian gets home, you need all the spare energy you can get!
Also, forgot to say, I’d like to hear the bullying stories, if you have the time. Your ward sounds like a real doozy. Maybe I was foolish to be jealous of you living in that area – it seemed so wonderful, but I guess there’s a cloud to every silver lining.
That was one of the reasons we were glad to be in CO–and then that very thing happened to one of my friends in my ward here! Sometimes old people deserve a kick in the pants, not respect.
Still, there are days when I am seriously struggling and it’s a miracle and an incredible achievement that we’re at church at all, and people do not understand the immense sacrifice it was, and I spend the whole of church thinking of snappy comebacks in case someone says something. My go-to, practiced comment is “Jesus would never have said that.”
Even now I refuse to send my kids to our nursery because the nursery leader is so not-friendly to my family of special needs, 2e kids.
And my kids get bullied in church, too. And mine aren’t the only ones. I also refuse to go to scouts because certain parents won’t stop their kids from bullying the autistic kids in the ward, and all the leaders have tried and they seem powerless. Lovely, isn’t it?
Becca, I’m going to memorize that and use as needed.I’m afraid my response would have been more along the lines of “They are loud, aren’t they? But what’s really horrible is that someone like you thinks it’s more virtuous to point it out to me than to notice that my husband isn’t here and maybe move your self-righteous ass over here and help a sister out.”I’m You are MUCH nicer than I am, my friend
Blergh. Stupid autocorrect.
This made me super sad. Ofttimes kids are just mean. And sometimes older people are too far removed from their previous experience (or never had such) to be at all sensitive. But at church, that really bites. And then there’s those other angel kids, friends and grandmas that save the day with their perfectly helpful actions/comments. I hope you get some of those in these next four days! And just forget the old guy. My guess is generationally, he may have never even connected with his own little kids…
UGH what a grumpy old man! That would make me feel horrible. I can only imagine how much his grandchildren must love him… I hope you move into a much nicer, accepting ward. I hear out of state wards are much better. Sorry that happened. Bring them to my ward, they’ll blend right in!