I’ve been seeing this post about a daughter’s questions about her mom’s makeup in my news feed recently, and it’s made me think. Christine Burke describes how her daughter’s simple question made her see herself through a 7 year-old’s eyes and examine why she spent so much time and effort contouring, highlighting, plucking, cleansing, and otherwise enhancing her looks.
Here’s one for the “What is the world coming to?” files.
This gem scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday: A friend’s children’s school has decided to forgo Halloween this year in favour of…I don’t know…Friday, I guess. The decision was attributed to the “staff” and the reasons behind it were given as follows: Continue reading
The fabulous Stephanie Giese of Binkies and Briefcases wrote a viral post about her disbelief at the sizing and coverage in Target’s clothing options for young girls. She had been noticing what seemed to be a distinct reluctance to include…y’know…fabric…in items like shorts for girls as young as 5. Her post received a mostly positive response, but also a fair bit of backlash (One standout was a commenter who posited that she should put her “fat-ass kid” on a diet if she wanted clothes to fit her better. Way to keep it classy, interweb.).
Quite impressively, Target reacted almost immediately, reaching out to her, doing their own research, and promising an overhaul of their sizing practices including feedback from “real” moms like her, which is awesome – we should be able to find clothing for our children that fit with our own tastes and values without having to pull out our sewing machines and make or modify them ourselves.
But…(you know me…there’s got to be a but)…I don’t agree with the reasoning that we need more modest clothing options to avoid sexualizing our young daughters. Children are not sexual. Exposed skin is not sexual. Children with exposed skin are not sexual.
Children are children. Continue reading
Ah, Mother’s Day – the day when mothers around the world (or at least North America) are celebrated with heel of bread sandwiches, fact sheets about themselves, and the opportunity to sleep in as long as they like. (“IS SHE AWAKE YET?” “SHHHHH!!” “I’M JUST GOING TO CHECK IF SHE’S AWAKE YET!” “OKAY BUT BE QUIET!” “MOMMY? MOMMY? ARE YOU AWAKE YET? NO? OKAY!!” *CRASH* “OH NO! QUICK! GET A TOWEL! NO, A TOWEL! A TOWEL! YES, A TOWEL! I DON’T CARE WHICH ONE! JUST BRING ME A…” “SHHHH! YOU’LL WAKE HER UP!”).
All Most joking aside, my Mother’s Day was lovely. Molly’s school’s Mother’s Day Tea was as lovely and entertaining as always.
Ben’s fact sheet was reasonably accurate (“Uh, mommy? Do you read before you go to sleep to relax? Okay, good, because that’s what I wrote.”)
We gave out flowers to all of the ladies at church to celebrate all forms of motherhood – and I had to break the news to the choir that we couldn’t have any because we were RUNNING OUT (which, in a small town United Church is a pretty big deal).
My cherub choir did their best rendition ever of “God Bless Families,” enthusiastically supported by Molly on percussion and interpretive dance.
My gourmet chef hubby created a delicious cinnamon-maple-walnut pancake breakfast which was served to me in bed on only the second try (the first having been drenched with water from a top-heavy vase of flowers).
Molly survived the dishwasher’s attempt to eat her with only a bump on the head, and we learned a valuable lesson about leaving kitchen renovations half-finished. FYI – A heavy slow-cooker as a counterweight (pun not intended, but actually quite clever – go subconscious!!) is not an adequate replacement for an actual built-in dishwasher cabinet. We should probably get on that.
And I got a pretty necklace!
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? How successful was your day this year?
This has come around WAY too soon for me. It’s May first AGAIN. Another year has passed, and it’s time for me to remember that day that I lay prostrate in a hospital bed, doped up on Morphine, and listened to a high-risk OB/GYN explain with remarkable calmness that 33 weeks or not, this baby was coming today.
Ben-Magoo, I simply refuse to believe that you are now SEVEN. YEARS. OLD. It simply isn’t possible. I forbid it. You must stay my baby forever. I know, I know…you SAY that you’ll always be my teeny baby, and you’ll ALWAYS want mommy cuddles, and you’ll ALWAYS be my same silly Ben-Magoo, but SEVEN? You’re practically a teenager. I mean, just look at your hair! Teenager hair, that is.
And listen to you talk – teenager talk, that…no, scratch that. You talk like a grown-up with a post-graduate degree. Ben-Magoo, you asked me some questions this morning, and I think I did a pretty good job of answering them, so I’m going to write down what I can remember here to make sure you can re-read it any time you want to.
We started out talking about your birthday presents – You got a few presents this morning that I picked up yesterday at the Royal Botanical Gardens – some pretty cool bug books, one from the grown-up section, because most of the kids books were just way too, as Molly put it, “kiddy” for you. You were a little disappointed that you didn’t get any ocean books, but I explained that right now you seem really focused on your Bug Clinic.
Just in case you’re reading this years from now and can’t remember, let me remind you about your Bug Clinic. Last year at daycamp, you and your friends noticed that there were a lot of caterpillars around and you wanted to do something for them, so you created a bug hospital at the base of a tree. You carefully brought any injured caterpillars you found there, and you collected a stockpile of carefully peeled maple seeds for caterpillar food.
I figured the end of the summer would mean the end of the Bug Clinic, but it turned out that friend from daycamp was in your class at your new school and you revived the Bug Clinic at school in the fall. You now have an army of “doctors” on your roster and you run a pretty tight ship, assigning them jobs, scheduling shifts, and of course protecting the clinic from the other team, the Bug Clinic Destroyers. You have quite a lot on your to-do list – literally – but you’re fully committed to it. In fact, when I said that you sure had a lot to do, you explained patiently, “I know, mommy. But that’s what you have to when you’re the boss.”
What’s even cooler, Magoo, and I don’t think you realize that you do this, is how huge your heart is. You don’t just accept everyone who comes along – you find ways to bring people together.
When some of your friends were more interested in playing Minecraft than Bug Clinic, you invited them to make a Minecraft tower on the top floor. When we had that incident a couple of weeks ago where another student made a poor choice and deliberately threw away the special piece of coral you brought to school, and later offered to work at your Bug Clinic to make up for it, you not only accepted her offer, you named her the “First Prize Winner” at your latest Bug Clinic Award Ceremony.
I mean, there’s forgiveness, and then there’s what you did. You have so much goodness in you that you respond to a deliberate injury by simply loving MORE. I think there’s a lesson in there for all of us.
You’ve been telling me that the Bug Clinic is a secret, but this morning you changed your mind and said it was okay for me to talk about it, and I’m really glad because I want to share it with the world. If more six…no, SEVEN year-olds were as dedicated as you are to caring for the very tiniest of creatures on this earth, how amazing would your generation become?
Getting back to the bit about the birthday presents – you loved your bug books, but you did mention in the car, “I wish I had a whole LIBRARY of ocean books!” And then you paused thoughtfully for a minute, and then you asked me, “Mommy? Why am I so different from other kids? Why am I into things like biology and stuff, and not just superheros and toys?”
Magoo, every once in a while you and me have these really profound talks, and this was one of them.
I said that there are a lot of reasons. There’s the ordinary reasons: We tried to expose you to lots of different playthings and experiences, not just superhero toys and sports. Honestly, you never had much interest in any of the sports we tried (“Except skiing! I really like skiing!” you point out), so we weren’t going to force it, as long as you’re active and healthy. And whatever toys you played with, you created your own worlds with them instead of being stuck “in the box” playing with them exactly the way they were intended. Just think about Brio Peak – Your track-building adventures rose (again, literally) to new heights, and led to your first published book!
Likewise, you don’t watch the typical TV shows for your age and gender, and I’m actually pretty happy about that. We’ve talked about this before, but with your innate kindness, and your tendency to be a bit anxious, you don’t like shows or movies with shooting and meanness, even if they do have happy endings. You just don’t enjoy watching them, and that’s okay. You get a little frustrated with your friends sometimes when they tell you the shows you like to watch are babyish, but you never fail to remind them “That’s a STEREOTYPE.” I do get a little sad because I know you censor yourself and don’t talk about those shows at school so you don’t get teased, but that of course is not a problem with you but with the world, and it’s not your job to fix it!
And I think daddy and I are doing an okay job at this parenting gig, because we try pretty hard to encourage you and Molly when you find something that you are interested in, like when you started to be interested in ocean creatures…
You interrupted me here to say, “It was when we were watching the life cycle DVD about the dolphin and the shark and you got the Eugenie Clark book and read it to me! THAT’S when I started loving ocean creatures!” and I’m pretty sure you just wrote the first sentence in your autobiography.
Well, that got me thinking and talking about the not-so-ordinary reasons. Eugenie Clark started being interested in natural science and ichthyology when she was very young, just like you, and I think you’ll find that the same is true of many scientists and leaders in their fields. People who have a passion for something often came to that passion very early in life, and many of them were lucky enough to be encouraged in that passion from early on. So you might be different from the other kids because God has a plan for you to do something really special – like to become a marine biologist or entomologist – or even something else.
One of the things that is really, really cool about you, Magoo, is that you don’t just get excited about things yourself – you have an incredible gift for getting other people excited too. Just look at your Bug Clinic – even though most of your friends are more interested in the usual stuff, you have somehow managed to get them totally excited about the Bug Clinic. When you started drawing ocean creatures, all of your friends did the same thing and for weeks you came home with your backpack stuffed with drawings of sea life – “To Ben, From _____.” Maybe you’re going to wind up using that gift to make a difference by getting people excited about learning or about conservation.
That, of course, led to a conversation about conservation (say that 5 times fast!) and a decision to write a letter to your principal outlining ideas for improving your school’s Enviro Club (“All we ever do is collect the recycling bags from the classrooms and dump them in the bins!”). Oh, and you remembered that you’d better get started with your letter-writing campaign to Marineland. And I promised to tell you about Craig Kielberger later. I guess Free The Children will be next on our reading list.
As we walked from the parking lot into your school, Magoo, you pointed at yourself, grinned at me, and said, “This kid is more like a grown-up than a kid,” and then ran inside to show off your birthday cupcakes.
I’ll have to meet you halfway on that, my baby Ben Magoo.
I broke my toe making Valentines cards.
No, wait…I can’t really start there. You need more context than that. I broke my toe because of my ovarian cyst, which is not complex, just misunderstood, like me in high school.
Actually, I’d better go back a bit further. Really, it all started because Ian bought those damn Valentines treat bags at the Liquidation World closing sale, so when it comes down to it, I blame the economy. I broke my toe because of the economy. Damn you, Stephen Harper!
I’m feeling a little bit pulled in all directions lately, mostly because of things that I have taken on myself and therefore for which I have only myself to blame…the new job*…the old job**…the old chair position***…the new chair position****… For the most part I’ve been managing to keep my head above water, and this Sunday I finally got through the stressfullest bit, which was chairing the church’s Annual Meeting. By the grace of…well…chocolate (true story!) I made it through and it was pretty successful, if I do say so myself.
Between my own work and extracurriculars, and Ian’s work craziness (transitioning to new ownership by a much bigger company with very different corporate style, meaning even longer hours and more travel than before)…and the fact that my beloved first car Spunky (RIP) bit the big one last week, necessitating a day of car shopping…&tc…&tc…suffice it to say, my house is a disaster, we are subsisting on the leftover party-sized pizza we brought home from church on Sunday, and Ian is away yet again.
On top of that, Ben’s moods and behaviour have been a complete nightmare lately, Molly’s behaviour hasn’t been much better, and I’ve also been having this fun crippling abdominal pain which turned out to be my not-so-complex bloody ovarian cyst (literally bloody; ‘haemorrhagic,’ technically).
So this morning, when I really should have been working my little medical transcriptionist heart out, I confessed to my wonderful support group of invisible interweb blogging friends that when I learned I had this (originally wrongly described) complex cyst, a small part of me couldn’t help but wish that it was just a little more on the complex side. Nothing terminal of course; just maybe serious enough to put me out of commission just long enough for it to be socially acceptable to expect people to come in, clean my house, look after my kids, and cook me a couple of nice dinners.
Well, there went the morning – we laughed, cried, commiserated, laid the groundwork for a proposed tropical paradise sister-blogger-wives commune, and I’m pretty sure conspired to transport questionable substances across state lines. It was just what I needed. My friend Lizzie over at Considerings calls these sorts of people her ‘lifeboats’ and that’s exactly what I needed and exactly what I got (Mel, Jenn, and David, that includes you too).
Thus refreshed, I looked at the clock and realized that it was well beyond when I needed it to be and I still had to get to Ben’s school to pick him up for his doctor’s appointment to talk about stopping the medication that was hopefully the source of the drastic mood swings and anxiety that had made him particularly difficult to parent lately.
And it was at that very moment that I thought to myself, “This is the perfect time to make Valentines!”
A few weeks ago, Ian took Molly to Liquidation World to check out the store-closing sale and impulse-bought thoughtfully purchased several items, including very reasonably priced cellophane Valentine treat bags. Now under normal circumstances, this would have been perfectly fine – welcome, even – but given my fragile mental state in the context of the tornado of crazy that is my life right now, these GOD-DAMN TREAT BAGS have become the apex of my stress mountain – the one thing in my life that should be so absolutely simple (Use them. Don’t use them. Toss in a lollipop and call it a day. Pretend I can’t remember where I put them. So many nice, easy possibilities!) but instead has become the thing on which I have fixated ALL of my stress because I simply cannot allow said stress to affect the delicate balance of all the other balls I am just barely managing to keep in the air.
Saturday night, at Walmart: I need chocolate for the Annual Meeting (put chocolate hearts in cart). I should pick up Valentines for the kids (start looking at Valentines). Princess Valentines that come with bracelets – check! (put in cart) Angry Birds? No, Ben did Angry Birds last year. Bugs with sticky bug cling things – that works (put them in basket). Wait, then I have to get stuff to put in the treat bags. Okay…heart stampers (into basket). Pencils (into basket). I should get candies. More chocolate heart candies? But I don’t know if they’re peanut-free (look through all Valentine candies for peanut-free symbols, then reject them all on the basis of price anyway). But if I’m getting stuff to put in the treat bags, I shouldn’t just get the Valentines that come with useless crap that’s going to get thrown out anyway. I could get the cheaper Valentines that don’t come with things (put away other Valentines). Okay, so Princesses without bracelets for Molly. Jake and the Neverland Pirates for Ben? (put in basket). I don’t know though…he likes Jake, but I don’t know if he likes it enough for Valentines (put them back). Maybe I should let them choose their own cards (put the Princess ones back too). I really wanted to do that Pinterest thing with the fish candies. I wonder if they have them in the regular candy section (go all the way back through Walmart. Don’t find fish candies). I could check the dollar store. Actually, I could get stuff for the treat bags there too (put it all back and just buy the chocolates).
Monday afternoon: Take kids to the dollar store and pick out candies to put in treat bags. Foolishly mention to Ben that I had wanted to find banana or fish candies to do a Despicable Me or undersea-themed Valentine. Ben decides to hand draw all of his Valentines with minions and sea creatures. Molly wants hers to have princesses and rocks.
Monday evening: Second guess doing treat bags at all. Do I really want to be THAT mom?
Tuesday morning: Decide to go to the bulk food store after Ben’s appointment to look for banana or fish candies. Resolve (again) to be THAT mom.
Tuesday lunchtime: Decide that NOW is the appropriate moment to make a test-run of Despicable Me Valentine cards, on the off chance that we do find banana candies at the bulk store (but they won’t be individually wrapped. I would let my kids eat them, but I don’t know about all the other parents. Is this just a waste of time and effort? Are half of them just going to wind up in the garbage? Do I really want to be THAT mom?)
And that is how, as I ran back to the craft corner to get the black marker I had forgotten when I brought the rest of the craft supplies to my desk to make a test batch of Valentines before I raced to pick Ben up in time for his doctor’s appointment, I came to catch my foot on the leg of the couch and collapse in a writhing, gasping, broken-toe-gripping heap on the floor.
The Valentines turned out well though!
*In December I started working as a copywriter for a communications company. It sort of fell into my lap in the form of an offer I couldn’t refuse; Just as I had started to wrap my head around the fact that I was enjoying this whole writing gig and could maybe potentially see myself entertaining the possibility of vaguely dreaming about doing it professionally, the husband of an old friend called and said, “Hey, any chance you want a job as a copywriter?”
**I work from home doing medical transcription, which basically means I can type really fast and my spell-checker knows a lot of words you’ve never heard of.
***A year ago I unwittingly became chair of the Worship Committee at my church. Easy-peasy.
****And then I became chair of the whole shebang. Less easy-peasy.
Last Sunday was Palm (or Passion) Sunday in the Christian calendar, which commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches, and marks the beginning of Holy Week. Many churches distribute palm branches or fronds for people to wave as part of the worship service.
For our Palm Sunday service, I rashly volunteered to go looking for individual palm strips that could be folded into crosses for Easter. “Who will fold them?” they asked. “Oh, I’ll do it,” I said. “How much work could it possibly be?” *Cue evil laugh track*
After the Palm Sunday service, I came home with the bag of still fresh palm strips and I asked my good friend Google, “Seriously, Google? How hard COULD it be?”
Google replied, “Mwah hah hah hah hah…!” but also helpfully directed me to some instructional websites and I got to work.
I found a lot of the instructions and pictures tough to follow, so I decided to try my hand at making one of my own. Please note that unlike the actual palm strips, the paper I used is blue on one side and white on the other so you see how the folds really go! The wider end of the palm/paper is the bottom and narrower part the top; if it’s really stringy at the top, trim it. If it’s extra wide (more than 1.5″), cut a notch at the bottom and peel the two halves apart to make 2 strips.
Fold #1: Fold the top straight down over the bottom at the height that you would like the cross to be (in this case, about 5″).
Fold #2: Fold to the right at a 45° angle to start to form the first arm of the cross.
Fold #3: Fold straight back towards the left to complete that arm and start to form the second arm of the cross.
Fold #4: Fold underneath to complete the second arm. The paper/palm should pass behind the cross.
Fold #5: Holding the cross together in the middle, fold strip at a 45° angle to pass behind cross from top left to bottom right.
Fold #6: Fold from bottom right straight across to bottom left (keep holding middle of cross together).
Fold #7: Fold up at 45° angle so strip passes behind cross from bottom left to top right.
Fold #8: Pass top of strip over top right and tuck into where the strip wraps around the bottom of the cross.
Then pull tight.
Turn over and trim excess to finish.
Here are some of the real thin, front and back, in various sizes.
And here I am with crazy eyes having just spent the last 4 hours making 187 of them!!
It was strangely soothing, as repetitive tactile experiences go. When we delivered them to the church, Ian proudly declared, “Oh, it was easy! At least, it didn’t look that hard…”
I feel like I should have a little video camera set up on a tripod in a closet in front of a bare wooden stool for this. Okay, here goes – Confession time – A big old truth-storm coming right at you, just between you and me:
I Hate Kids.
That was a weight off my chest.
Now for the explanation: I love my children. I love your children. I am fascinated by child development, both normal and exceptional. I have always connected easily with children, and I spent most of my adolescent spare time babysitting and helping out with the children’s programs at my church.
It logically followed that I skipped off to university starry-eyed and determined to become The Very Best Kindergarten Teacher Ever. By the end of my very first day of my very first placement in a preschool classroom, I found myself (figuratively) rocking back and forth in the fetal position muttering, “Oh god. I hate kids. I hate them. What on earth made me think I wanted to do this?”
Some soul-searching later, I realized that a love of children does not necessarily equate a love of working with children, and even a love of working with children does not equate a love of working with lots of children. In mathematical terms, ∴ I love kids ≠ I should be a teacher.
I have many, many wonderful friends who are amazing teachers, and I have so much respect for their being able to do and love a job that I would rather stick needles in my eyes than pursue. They make it seem so effortless when all I can think is “But HOW? How do you get them to all sit down at once? What do you do when one of them runs off? How do you get them to all listen to you? HOW DO YOU DO IT WITHOUT YOUR FREAKING HEAD EXPLODING??”
Last year, I started up a Cherub Choir at my church. This was rather a frustrating exercise, due I think to a combination of lack of enthusiasm/participants and the fact that it coincided with the height of my (untreated) depression, and throughout last year I felt a constant push/pull within myself between “If my friends really cared, they would bring their kids out to support me!” and, “I am choosing to provide this service and it’s not my friends’ responsibility to populate it!”
I was on the verge of calling the whole thing off one Sunday morning as I arrived, yet again with just my two kids in tow, only to find a strange 12 year-old girl waiting, alone, in the church – her name was Aimee, she said in teenaged upspeak. “I saw your sign downtown? I’m here for the kids choir? To be a youth helper?” She had come with the grudging consent of her mom, who had given her permission to go for choir practice but not to stay for church because she wasn’t dressed properly for it. Aimee’s arrival ended that push/pull in my head with a swift kick in the butt of, “Okay, now I get it – I’m doing this for that shy, lonely 12 year-old who took a chance and found a place where for half an hour every Sunday she felt like she belonged.”
This year, my choir grew from two (Ben and Molly) to three and now to FIVE kids. Can you believe it? MORE THAN HALF of the choir is now NOT the fruit of my loins!! I’m torn between delirious excitement and abject terror – which brings us back to the part where I Hate Kids, because this is starting to feel suspiciously like a teaching gig. But weirdly enough, it’s also feeling kind of fun. And rewarding. And not as hard as it used to be.
Maybe the times, they are a-changin’, just a little bit.
I think our Christmas season this year was the busiest EVER. There was lots of fun, family and friends, but I think I’m definitely ready for the holidays to be over so I can relax!
Ben and Molly’s school Christmas pageant was a hoot – Ben was dapper as always in his tuxedo and delivered his “Narrator 2” lines in his inimitable fashion. Molly, who had been re-cast as “a star” after (repeatedly) deliberately breaking her fairy wand, demonstrated her displeasure by flinging her bells on the stage and turning her back on the audience for the singing of Jingle Bells.
On the Saturday before Christmas we went to our extended family Christmas party with yummy food by The Gravy Train Gourmet Dippery (shameless plug, but seriously, check them out!) and a puppet show by the beautiful and talented Claudia Hurtubise (with special guest puppeteers Ben and Molly).
On the way to the party, Ian suddenly said, “You know, we have all of their bedtime stuff with us…what do you think the chances are that Nana and Grandad would be convinced to keep them for the night?” I said, “Hmm…if we play our cards right, I’d say at least 50-50.” In the end it did indeed come down to 50-50: My dad hid both car keys and told me to pick a hand – with a hint from my Aunt Bonny, I chose right and Ian and I went to see The Hobbit. Of course, since it was only part 1 of 3 it looks like we’re going to have to make a hobbit of it…
The next morning we were back to the city again for Nana’s office Christmas brunch where we partook of delicious food and an impressive sequence of dirty jokes by and at the expense of friends and family members at our end of the table.
The Christmas Eve family service at St. Paul’s United Church included my cherub choir “singing” The Little Drummer Boy. There was some premature congratulation when the congregation mistook the piano interlude while the kids were given their drums for the end of the song, but we persevered (Translation: I kept desperately waving my arms and and Ben kept singing away loudly a bar ahead of the accompaniment) and brought down the house in the end.
On Christmas Day we spent the morning at home opening presents and Skyping with the overseas Pickleseses and the afternoon at Nana and Grandad’s. Santa, family, and friends were as always very generous to all of us and we enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner as well as the grand opening of Chris’ Epic Present. One of my favourite presents was my mug from my brother- and sister-in-law in Wales!
Finally, on Boxing Day we hosted my family at our house for the afternoon and dinner. I decided on a departure from turkey (for the most part) and served lasagna – one gluten-full and one gluten-free. I made Chef Michael Smith’s lasagna with speedy tomato sauce, which is my go-to lasagna recipe and used Italian turkey sausage instead of pork. For the gluten-free version I shaved thin strips of zucchini with a cheese slicer to use in place of noodles. Both versions were delicious!
I was also very happy with the centrepiece I made using one of the leftover giant vases from Chris and Caitie’s wedding.
And of course, with so many engineers in the house, I had to make π for dessert.
After dinner on Boxing Day, Ben’s big Christmas holiday adventure began as he left with my parents to go up to the chalet for a few days – more on that later!
How were your holidays? Did you follow family traditions, or do something new?
The knot that has been in my stomach for weeks has finally disappeared and has been replaced by a whole-body glowing sense of relief. Not only did we win, but we won by a landslide – for every person who voted to keep the status quo, 4 people voted for change, and the atmosphere in the room when it was announced was alive and joyous.
I explained it to Ben and Molly thus:
We had a really important meeting at church yesterday, and I was really worried about it because we were having a vote about something that I think is really important. Our church had a rule that not everyone could get married at our church. That meant that for some people, even if they came to the church and said, “We really love this church, and we really want to have our wedding here!” we would say, “No,” and I didn’t think that was fair, because God loves everyone equally. I thought that anyone who loved God and loved the church and wanted to have their wedding there should be able to do that, and so did a lot of other people, so we had some meetings, and we arranged some times that when anyone could come and talk about how they felt about it, and when that was all finished, we had a vote.
Everyone wrote on a piece of paper if they thought we should keep the rule the same, or change it so that everyone could get married at the church if they wanted to. And I was really, really worried that more people would want to keep it the same, but it turned out that lots more people wanted to change the rule and so we did, and now EVERYONE who comes and says, “We really love this church and we would like to have our wedding here!” will get a, “YES!”