As I lay in bed in a Vegas hotel room gently testing my eyes and head for signs of a hangover, a friend texted me. "Sis perfect sitting by your girls."
Sis. Perfect is, indeed, perfect. Quiet and hardworking, she has never worked a day outside the home for filthy lucre. She has instead worked for the Lard for free while raising her righteous Mormon children. She's put decades of time in Primary and as YW president. This year with her husband being in the bishopric, she is only serving as camp director. This had involved multiple visits to our home the past week as she delivered and picked up various camp paraphernalia. Both my girls are helping with camp this year and they were up to their necks in the preparations. In each visit, Sis. Perfect had spied my new mode of summer attire--tank tops. I've been much more open about it this year. Last summer I kept the shoulders undercover around others. This year I'm out of the closet, so to speak. Well, my sleeveless shirts are.
Now, I can only guess Sis. Perfect's motivation in suddenly deciding to sit by my family during Sacrament Meeting. I haven't attended church in over 18 months and attendance was spotty long before that. My chair has been empty this whole time as far as I know. Yet this is only one sign of the gaping divide that has formed between me and my daughters. Anything church related is not discussed with me unless it involves needing a ride somewhere. Where I was once in the thick of things I am now on the fringes. If I suggest something inappropriate (such as hooking up the swamp cooler on a record-breaking Sunday) I am put firmly in my place by my youngest. She has become even more rabidly righteous than before.
As I dropped my girls off with their camp gear, the leaders lined up near the vehicles (all women with one lone Priesthood Holder to oversee things) waved politely to me. These are the women that share a significant portion of my daughters lives. I wondered if one of them would be sitting in my place in the temple one day watching MY daughter's marriage. Because as unfair as it seems to me, religion seems to trump nine months of pregnancy, giving birth, nursing, changing, comforting, feeding, teaching, snuggling, laughing and loving.