Saturday, March 14, 2009

What I'll Miss, A

Yesterday I left work early to go with the boys to a Birthday party for one of their classmates. It was at a Laser Tag arena and the mom wanted all the parents to play along with the kids, and we all had more fun that I would have anticipated. The parents ended up agreeing we should leave the kids home next time :-).

I even took the top score, by 30 hits, and won some "my dad is better than your dad" points for the boys :-). Anyway, if in war against a bunch of seven-year olds and 30/40-somethings, I'd totally be victorious.

Having such a good time, laughing, and comparing score cards with other parents... It made me think, though, of what a gamble moving is. Our boy's school has a great bunch of parents and kids, most all of which haven't a problem with our family being there. Many have become our friends... well more Rob's friends, as he, as Room Mom Parent, interacts with them more.

Sure, we've had some new discomfort recently, aside from the big political and familial issues. Our boys have play dates easily and almost no parents seem to have a problem... But the mom of Brian's best friend has been awfully difficult to agree to anything--she even took a month to return a call--and who knows why. We've also noticed things have changed around our neighborhood since November. I'd like to think we were being paranoid, but it really does seem the more devout LDS have stopped returning our waves and the less devout have stopped socializing; we used to spend long whiles talking but now they seem to be uncomfortable and cut our conversations short. Eh, it's either paranoia or the discomfort that can come when around a neighbor you know knows what your chosen church is trying to do to his family. Maybe that wedge is inevitable. I mean, I'm sure I'd feel uncomfortable talking to my LDS neighbors if a community to which I belonged was out to legally harm their families, and annul their marriages, even if I didn't agree with my group.

The trouble is that we do have some really good connections here, which I hope we can reproduce. In whole Utah is harmful to us, but it's what we know, and there are parts that are great and that I hope we can take with us. Wherever we end up, I'll hope we end up with a great group of children and parents in our kids school, those we can socialize and laugh with as the kids open presents and eat cake, those that don't worry about our kids and our family being treated equally at school. That and I'll also hope for parents who can't show me up in front of my boys at Laser Tag :-).


MoHoHawaii said...

Posts like this one really bring home the damage done by the LDS Church's political shenanigans. They have turned neighbor against neighbor, among other things.

I have noticed the same increase in polarization. There is more anti-gay sentiment than ever among the most faithful LDS folks. Or, maybe it is more accurate to say that the ranks of the LDS are also getting more polarized. There are many, many people in the Church who are not on board with the anti-gay positions of institutional Mormonism, but those who are seem to have bought into the "agents of Satan" point of view.

Leaving Utah is trading one set of problems for another. The question is which set of problems do you want. My fear is that the the danger to your kids will increase as they get older. Teenagers are brutal. On the other hand, I think the strongest anti-gay views have been fully played out. They will no longer win elections by acting as a wedge issue. Maybe things will change.

Like the economy things may get worse before they get better. I'm not sure I could raise kids in Utah in the coming ten years.

As always, best wishes for you and yours.

Captain Midnight said...

I hope things get better for you. I always wanted to get out of Utah as soon as possible, but I really like living in Utah now. Sure, there are closed-minded people here, but I feel at home here. I think we need more families like yours to set a good example to our Mormon neighbors that a good, happy family is possible with same-sex parents. I think one reason Mormons are so anti-gay is because they don't know any gays, and if they do they probably know the drunk partying gays.

Carter Niven said...

Moving helped us a great deal. Although we haven't had to deal with the sexuality differences (most people don't know that we are a mixed couple), we had to deal with the religion issue all the time. My boys would come home from school very upset and begging to get baptized so that they wouldn't feel out of place and picked on because their parents didn't believe in the church.

Although we live in a fairly conservative area now, I think being free of Mormonism has really helped our family. Come to Canada. Join us where it is illegal to discriminate based on sexuality. I wish I could say the economic prospects were better here and the taxes lower, but I am happy to live in a community with a gay police officer who comes to the school to talk to the students about bullying and his partner who puts out fires!

Scot said...

MoHoHawaii "Leaving Utah is trading one set of problems for another."

Amen to that. I'm trying to tally and quantify them but most defy any measure and would require a well-working crystal ball.

"They have turned neighbor against neighbor, among other things.... Or, maybe it is more accurate to say that the ranks of the LDS are also getting more polarized."

The thing that I'm also sensing is that there is a discomfort with even those who are for our equal treatment. Our neighbors may not feel any different about us but now there's an elephant in the room.

Captain Midnight: I know exactly what you mean. I also can see there are good reasons for us to stick it out. That's one of the reasons I feel like such a quitter. All I can offer myself is that it's complicated balancing home verses community obligations. Who knows, I may never secure a position out of state and be forced to do both the right and wrong thing here :-).

Carter "My boys would come home from school very upset and begging to get baptized so that they wouldn't feel out of place and picked on because their parents didn't believe in the church."

You know, all GLBT issues aside, you're right. I remember as a kid, many LDS parents in my neighborhood wouldn't let their children play with non-LDS kids. I'd rather avoid that.

All you Canadians are making me look up there more seriously.