On Sunday morning, Rex and I went out to brunch with those people who weren't going to church. Mom and Richard had been planning to visit the various local Christian churches that had LDS outreach ministries, but at the last minute the adorable baby motivated them to change their plans and have brunch with us instead.
As soon as we got to our table, Mom started installing baby Judy in her high chair. Mom had even brought some puppets and started playing with Judy and making her laugh. Susan seemed a tiny bit wary at first, but in short order she seemed to pick up on the fact that Mom was motivated by genuine affection and not proselyting.
"It's so wonderful to finally have a grandchild," she sighed. Then to Susan she said "I mean, I hope you don't mind if I think of Judy as my granddaughter."
"Of course I don't mind," said Susan. "I don't object to more love for my precious little girl."
"And maybe some free babysitting to boot," said April with a smile.
"Of course, anytime," said Richard. "We would love to help out."
When the waiter arrived, all of us except Mom and baby Judy ordered a piping hot cup of coffee. Mom ordered cocoa.
"It's so weird that drinking this is considered a sin here," said Susan, holding up her coffee cup. "What an unfathomable place this is. You don't like coffee, Mrs. Winterbottom?" she asked Mom.
"I generally don't drink coffee or tea or anything else that's against the Word of Wisdom," Mom said. "The thing is that I don't want to give the Mormons any ammunition to rationalize why I left the church. They always like to say that when someone leaves the church that it was because it was too difficult, and they had a 'Word of Wisdom problem' or something. I'd rather people see that it wasn't because of weakness that I left the church but rather because of logical reasoning and Christ's love."
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"Yeah, I went through a stage where I wanted to be sure that everyone understood that my reason for leaving the church wasn't because of sinful weakness," I said. "But then I moved past that. Now I'm at the point where I no longer give a shit what Mormons think about why I left the church."
Rex laughed. "Myself, I think I pretty much started at that stage," he said. "Of course I've always had a bad attitude."
"It's true," I said, giving him a teasing smile "just ask his mom."
"Now, Lynn, I hate to pry," Mom said, "but you're really not doing yourself a favor by getting off on the wrong foot with Rex's mom like that."
"You're right," I said. "I've really got to cut it out with these snide comments about her behind her back like that."
"Damn straight," said Rex smiling.
"Hey, it's not just me," I said teasingly. "You haven't been too happy with your parents lately either."
"I know, I know," he said. "Like you were saying the other day, it takes time, but we'll get there eventually if we all make an effort."
"That's the right attitude," said Mom. "That's how I turned things around with your dad's mom when we were first married."
"You had trouble getting along with Dad's mom?" asked April, a bit surprised.
"I thought you guys were the best of buddies, you know, before the divorce," I said.
"Well we were, but it didn't come automatically. At first, since I was a new convert to the church, I didn't understand how a lot of things worked, and it seemed like I could never do anything right in her eyes. I thought she should be more sympathetic. But one day I heard her talking about her hobby of genealogy, and it sounded really interesting. Of course none of my family's genealogy had been done, so she and I had this wonderful adventure of starting from scratch and finding the names of my ancestors. We traced some lines all the way back to Adam! We had so much fun together that we couldn't help but become friends."
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