"You know that's not what I'm talking about," said Rex's dad. "Just the other day Jared was telling us that now he doesn't want to serve a mission."
"Dad," said Jared, "That has nothing to do with Rex." Joe and Sam looked silently at their plates as if they wished they weren't there, but it appeared that the conversation had passed the point of no return.
"What do you mean it has nothing to do with Rex?" his father asked him. "Your exact words were 'Rex didn't go on a mission.'"
Jared looked down as if he were ashamed to have gotten his beloved older brother into trouble.
"I can't believe it," Rex's mom said. "Five kids raised in the church and no missionaries."
"Maybe Jill or Joy will serve a mission," I offered. They both glared at me as if they weren't at all happy to have been brought into this.
"I'm sure these two will have no trouble finding husbands right away like my Kathy did," she said huffily, as if I had insulted her by suggesting that her daughters would remain spinsters long enough to end up going on missions. Then as she got up to slice the next pan of corn-bread that was cooling on the top of the stove, she said to Rex "And now because of your bad example, this past year Jared's started skipping seminary!"
"Mom, how can that be because of my bad example?" asked Rex. "I graduated from seminary. With flying colors, as I recall."
But his mom ignored his response. She was on a roll. "He doesn't listen anymore. He's disobedient!" From her vantage point in the kitchen she spied Jared's jacket on the table in the next room. "He doesn't put his things away!" she said, walking towards it.
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