i was late to sacrament meeting on sunday so i decided to sit in the foyer and clean out the messenger bag i used for church while i listened to the talks. i love it when i can multitask like that at church. i am sure someone has cleaned out their purse in the chapel, but i wouldnt do it. seems irreverent and a little tacky, but thats just me. i am not calling anyone to repentance. believe me.
there are 4 wards that use our building, so listening to the talks became difficult as the previous wards third hour came to a close and people were gathering their families to go home. it got impossible when the relief society president came out with her screaming two year old and two additional women came out to deal with their misbehaving kids.
all of these women are my friends, so we started chatting. as we bemoaned the unfortunate decline of the "spare the rod, spoil the child" philosophy we noticed the elders walking down the hall. one of the women commented on how cute they were, but followed up with how young they look. we all kind of giggled, but it opened up a discussion on how your perspective changes on something that is essentially unchanging. for the most part, missionaries are 19-21 and thats how its been for decades, but how those young men are viewed drastically changes over time.
when i was a young girl, having the missionaries over for dinner was a blast. they were the best playmates ever. they ate like they had two hollow legs and would just rough house(way before the more recent guidelines that prohibit such things)and act goofy until they had to go home and make curfew. once you graduate from primary into young women these elders morph into demigod like status. they are so cute and so funny and so cool and you just cant wait until you can date and marry your own rm. beehive, mia maid(you can date!), then laurel, when dating a returned missionary can be a reality. now they are potential husbands so you are sizing them up as breeding stock and providers. this phase will last for a few months to a few years. maybe you go to byu for your mrs degree, maybe you meet your eternal companion at fhe in your singles ward. there are so many ways it can happen, but it usually ends with your standing in a receiving line and your closest friends and family eating those chalky pastel mints and drinking ice water out of a punch bowl. then, if you have a real testimony, you give birth to your own little missionary nine months later. the perspective shifts to raising the next generation of missionaries.
now? perspective is a funny thing. the girls from my laurel class are sending out their sons on missions. one just welcomed hers back. technically, i am old enough to be the mother of a returned missionary, yet i shamelessly flirt with them via my blog. in my defense, jake started it, but...