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A glimpse into the brain of a writer-momma-nerd.

Family Reunion

Posted by nattya61 on July 3, 2010

The Johnson Family Reunion was this past Saturday. I haven’t been to one of those reunions since I was a freshman in high school. The only thing I have in common with almost everyone from Dad’s side of the family is that we look alike. Other than that, nada. I went this year simply to show Nicholas off. I especially wanted him to get to meet my aunt Verda. She is Dad’s oldest sister and I love her to death. She is like an old fashioned grandma but with a modern sensibility about her. Even back over 60 years ago, she *gasp* only had one child because that’s all she wanted. I like Verda.

The reunion went well. The food was ok. The desserts were great! Conversations were friendly. Everyone thought Nicholas was adorable. I thought, Awesome! We’re getting away pretty unscathed. Then, I went to tell Dad that we were leaving because Nick was getting too fussy and needed a nap. Dad was talking to a cousin who I’ve never met. (I have about 40 cousins on that side of the family, all but one of them older than me. I haven’t met probably half of them, and if I have I was too little to remember them.) This cousin just happens to be a Baptist preacher here in Springfield.

Dad says, “You need to go to his church.”

I, not wanting to get into a religious debate, especially since I’m ready to leave, just say, “No, thank you. Church really isn’t my thing.”

Cousin says, “Oh, just come by, at least once.”

I say, “No, but really, thank you for the offer.” I’m smiling, being nice, and hoping that this is the end of the conversation.

Then, Dad pipes in, “You need to take Nicholas to church.”

Ugh! Here’s where the irritation sets in. See, I’m ok with people asking me if I want to go to their church. My answer will always be something like, “No, I’m not religious, but thank you for the offer.” However, when someone then says I “need” to go to church, then I start to get pissy. To me, that crosses the line and gets into the category of not respecting my beliefs, or lack thereof as the case may be. But, I get really annoyed especially if it’s Dad. Here’s why: He’s not religious either. He will pretend to be around people when it suits his needs, but when he’s around just me or just me and Bryan then he’ll say things like, “You need to take Nicholas to church so he can be around kids his own age.” (Notice not because he needs religion.) That very same night I mentioned something about how another family member is really religious now when he never was before. Dad’s response, “Well, you know stupid people are gullible and really believe all that stuff.” Thus, it really irritates me when he acts like he thinks I should take Nicholas to church for religious reasons when he knows that will make me mad, and he doesn’t even believe it himself!

My response at this point was more direct. “Dad,” I said, “you are well aware that if I take Nicholas to church it will be Unitarian Universalist as I am still recovering from religion.” I waved to them both and left. Dad never brought it up the rest of the trip. He’s probably just thankful I didn’t go into a diatribe about indoctrinating children.

On a lighter note, Nicholas got to visit with family, learned how to walk really well in shoes, and he got to spend two afternoons outside in the pool. I even got a wee bit of a tan.

And now, Nicholas cuteness!!


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