When I was about 12, give or take, (ohmygoshIjustrealizedthatwas20yearsago) we moved into a new ward. A ward is the fancy Mormon word for congregation, basically. This wasn't our first family move, in fact by this point we were pros at the whole moving thing - I had never lived in one place for more than 3.5 years in all my life.
But now we're talking about formative teenage years. And awkwardness. Oh, and also the age where you are old enough to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. That's the main meeting for our church that everyone in your ward attends. Kids, adults, peers. I can feel sweat prickling on my neck now, just remembering.
So there I was, new to the ward, 12, and terrified. My Dad gave me advice on talk prep. He provided a newish copy of the Ensign - our church's magazine - and said I should pick something from there and read it/discuss it. There was a fairly lengthy article about pioneers in there that he particularly thought would be of interest to the congregation at large. Easy enough.
Sunday came, I got up to give my talk. I read most of it straight from the article. The 4-5 page article. Typed in small, very small, font. It was coma-inducing, even to me and I was the one reading it (I'll admit, it was pretty much the first time too). I rambled on for a really long time. No, I mean a LONG time. I read from it for so long that I still have a hazy memory of what the pages looked like. Probably 30 minutes or more. Which comes out to be 2/3 of the allotted speakers' time. Plural. I believe I still had another sibling that needed to talk. And my mother. And my father was the closing speaker.
My dad was smiling when he got up to give his talk. He opened with a light joke about how he didn't have much time to talk.
Oh, that might be thanks to his daughter.
Do you see the evil plot unfolding before your very eyes!?!
My dad, the master manipulator, devious plotter/planner set the whole thing up.
What a dad!
I think that story is hilarious (even though I doubt you, interwebiens, feel the same). I feel very extremely lucky to have such a dad as this. One who will laugh at his own jokes. And sometimes mine. I have a dad that made me see what kind of father I wanted for my own children - one like him.
These days on Father's Day I tend to think more of Eric. I tend to honor his commitment to our family, his humor, his craziness, his blind emphatic love of our children. But at the root of it I know: without my dad I wouldn't have known to look for their dad.
And Jerry (well Jenn, Jerry doesn't read the blog) if you try to assign me a talk when we move into our new ward I might have to go dig that old talk up.
Yes, that's a threat.