Hubby had to work today so I took E to the local mammoth playground. It's one of the last, great, death defying structures in our area. All the other playgrounds have been stripped of anything that could cause potential harm to children. Ramps instead of climbing bars, seatbelts on the swings, prison bar railings to prevent falls. But not this one. This one is 12 feet off the ground with firemen's poles and climbing walls and lots of places to fall. E loves it and I love it for her. I think kids need these kind of playgrounds to learn common sense. If we sanitize every environment they are ever in, they are never going to learn caution and consequence.But I digress, this post is not about that.
This post is about the seemingly very nice dad I met while waiting for E to fall head first from the unsecured twisty slide. His daughter, C, and E very nicely hit it off and played for almost two hours together. Inevitably, as Southern social custom seems to dictate, the dad and I struck up a friendly, superficial conversation. We talked about our kids's schooling, places that we have taken them, yadda yadda yadda. But then the dad asked me if E had a Wii. To be honest., although I have heard that term being bandied about, I don't even know what a Wii is. I know it has something to do with video games and such, but, no, we don't have one. I simply said that no, E is more of an outdoor child and we like it that way. She doesn't have an interest in such things. She does like the computer, but we limit her time on it.
Then the father asked me if I attended a church. Warning bells started going off in my head. I very politely answered that yes, my husband was a pastor of such and such church. To which the dad responded, "I could tell that you are someone with a lot of morals and very traditional values." Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am, but not because of church. I knew at that point I was in trouble. He started to tell me about the Yay God, mega church he attended. From there he talked about how he felt that when he gets to heaven he is going to be able to meet up with his deceased animals and his childhood cat was going to pin him to a wall for owning a dog in his adult life.
Somewhere in all of this Hubby showed up at the playground. C's dad started talking to him and pointedly looked past me (as in this was no realm for a woman to be involved in) and asked him about his politics. Hubby has this great way of brushing that question off where you think he is answering you, but when you walk away if you ponder the conversation you'll go, wait, he didn't answer me. So, Hubby did that. Then the man started talking about Huckabee and wondering if he was really what he appeared to be. (Hubby has a friend who worked for him and said, yes, he really is what he appears to be. that doesn't mean we are going to vote for him! Ah, but I wandered off the path.) The kicker came when C's dad said, "Really, when people ask me about politics, what I answer is, Jesus is my commander-in-chief!" That's a new one for me. I came so close to saying back "Yes, and DOG is my co-pilot!"
You would think I would be use to it by now; the proselytizing, the assumptions, the outrageous comments people make to me. Do I believe I'll see my dead dog again? I don't know. I like Hubby's explanation of heaven, it is the only one that so far has made sense to my scientific mind. He says Heaven is just your energy, or your soul, joining the presence of God. You may not be a body, have a sense of being whole or even thought, but your energy is in the presence of God. I don't know if I believe it or not, but at least I can say energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed, so his explanation makes some sense. But I have no desire to even get into that conversation with someone who has a bowl cut and probably will send his child to Jesus Camp ( a very disturbing film, by the way). But I was polite and said very little and I am sure the man walked away feeling better for having spent time in the presence of a fellow pious Christian. He angled to try to get our phone number so we could arrange a playdate for our girls. I played dumb and he eventually went away. Thank goodness.