Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's In A Name?

I took my son to the chiropractor today and got a shock when there were several teenagers there that yelled out "Hey Mormon Boy!  What's up?" and they all proceeded to talk about school and getting their backs/necks adjusted because of sports.

My son had told me that's what the kids call him but it's the first time I'd heard it.  I don't think he hates it, but he just finds it annoying that no one seems to know his real name.  He's just called "Mormon Boy" by the kids at school because he doesn't drink coffee, tea or smoke.  When his friends asked him why, he said he was Mormon and the name stuck.  

It is hard for my kids to be the only LDS teenagers in the school and that all the other teenager members live 20+ miles away.  Rural wards have boundaries that can easily be 40-50 miles and activities and church services aren't always easy to get too.  I hate being "inactive" by default and not necessarily by choice.  It's frustrating that he only gets seminary with me instead of meeting up with the other 20 kids up north of us.

Growing up, it was easy being a member of the LDS church.  The church was 10 miles away with several hundred families.  We had a nice building and tons of activities.  I had friends in school that were members and I never had to think about compromising my standards.  I knew kids from other wards and we met up for stake activities.  My kids don't have that option and it's hard not to get resentful that they miss out on so much.  We have a crappy building that I wish a tornado would destroy so we could get a new one.

Actually; after a really bad situation in Texas and in Illinois, I've always struggled with being active.  I had hoped when we moved to Nebraska, the ward we'd be in would be much better but rural wards are so much more challenging.  When you struggle with a mental illness being active in anything requires a huge amount of strength.  When there are days when you can't even get out of bed, trying to make it to church by 9 am is almost impossible and usually is.

I am grateful that the kids in my son's school don't call him "Mormon Boy" to be mean.  That would be a terrible way to spend your entire high school.  I also hope that because they know his standards they will keep him safe.

Thanks for letting me vent about rural wards.  I don't bring up my religion in my blog because it's meant for quilting.  For me religion is private and it can make people uncomfortable when reading it on a blog when all they wanted was to read about quilting.


Rosa-Munda said...

Hi Bethany,
Your son is amazing! To be a teenager and to be strong in your faith is a really precious gift. His friends see that too! Don't be shy, share your faith and watch amazing things happen. God bless you. Ros