Hit Me like a Hamer
I mentioned in my previous post that Melanie and I were going to attend a lecture at the downtown SLC library by Community of Christ historian John Hamer. It ended up being the fourth John Hamer event we’ve attended in the past year or so. This one differed from the others in that it took a broader look at the Latter Day Saint movement started by Joseph Smith, looking not only at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Community of Christ—the two largest denominations to come out of the movement—but several other Latter Day Saint churches. In fact, the LDS Church and Community of Christ took a backseat in this particular presentation. Instead, Hamer focused on lesser-known groups, such as the Strangites, the Hedrickites, the Bickertonites, and the Cutlerites—all of which consider themselves to be the one and only true church on the face of the earth and the proper continuation of the church started by Joseph. One thing that stood out to me was a graphic made by Hamer that showed color-coded boxes representing early (i.e. several years before Joseph was killed) church leaders and their subsequent (i.e. after Joseph was killed) religious affiliations. Strikingly, a majority of church leaders did not end up following Brigham Young. Not from a more comprehensive perspective, anyway. Our view gets skewed a little bit by the fact that, by the time people were making a choice whether or not to follow Brigham, many who were opposed to polygamy or had other issues had already left. Fascinating stuff. (And here I will officially apologize for using such a lame pun above as the title for this section of my blog post.)
A brilliant and amazing guy poses with Melanie and John Hamer.
Melanie is busy as can be now, gearing up to teach Kindergarten for the first time in a decade. Granted, she taught Kindergartners all last school year, but she was officially an aide and not the teacher. Now that she’s back in the driver’s seat, she has more responsibility. She’s attending mandatory preliminary staff meetings, she has to get her classroom all set up, etc. I feel like I haven’t seen her much since we got back from Nauvoo, which is kind of sad. Fortunately, we’ve made an effort to do some fun things this week. We had our date to go to the John Hamer lecture on Monday; on Tuesday, we went as a family to see Ant-Man and then went to dinner at Café Zupas; and tonight, we have dates for The Book of Mormon musical! I’m very excited about the latter. After this week, I assume things will only get more crazy, but I’m crossing my fingers that all five of us—Melanie, Eddie, Peter, Creegan, and me—will adjust well to all of the changes we are about to face.
Part of gearing up for the new school year is taking kids to the doctor. Yesterday, I took Peter and Creegan in for a checkup. Eddie was spared, although he went with us. Peter and Beegy are both doing great. Beegy has 20/20 vision, and Peter’s is not quite as good but still fine and in the normal range. Peter is in the 75th percentile for height and weight, and Beegy is around the 50th percentile for height and just above that for weight. Sadly, it was time for Creegan to get his final immunizations before entering school. He won’t start Kindergarten until next year, but we wanted him taken care of so he can be in preschool. He had only two shots that he still needed, but that’s two more than he wanted. It’s no fun restraining your child so someone can stab him a couple of times with a sharp object. Thankfully, those nurses can be amazingly fast. She was so fast, I wondered if it was really possible for her to have done the shots properly. I think it took less than a full second for each shot. Creegan was devastated, but boy did he recover quickly. By the time we were home, he was going out to jump on the trampoline with Eddie. The shots were given to him in his upper thigh, which you’d think would make jumping around immediately after rather unappealing. But nope, he was fine and dandy by then. He didn’t even take any pain medication, either before or after—not that he would’ve been willing to, and not that I didn’t offer it to him. Getting Creegan to take medicine (by mouth) is an utterly impossible mission. He will vomit in resistance before you can stand any chance of getting some into his system. It’s awful.
Today, I took all three kids to the dentist. Our appointment was for 9 AM, which was perhaps a little too optimistic for us. I didn’t even get a chance to eat breakfast or switch over some laundry as I had planned, and we were still several minutes late. Oh well. Things went fine and dandy once we were there. Well, sort of. Creegan once again proved the toughest sell. He was crying and screaming and refusing to lie back in the chair, even though they weren’t going to do anything more than a cleaning. Yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, it took several minutes to get him to comply. Once he did, he quickly realized it was no big deal. I wish he would’ve believed me when I told him that 1,000 times in a row as he threw his tantrum. In the end, Peter and Creegan are doing terrific. Eddie, not so much. The problem is crowding. He has moderate to severe crowding, and it’s time to start working on it. They want to put him in an “expander” (if I remember correctly) for 12–15 months. It’s not technically braces, but it’s close enough. As they talked to Edison about his crowded teeth, they asked me if I had had similar problems as a kid that needed to be fixed (assuming Eddie inherited it from one of his parents). I said, “I still need braces. I was neglected as a kid.” I opened up and showed them my crazy teeth. Since the onsite orthodontist was going to look at Eddie, the dentist recommended that he look me over as well. Now, it’s been one of my main goals upon returning from Nauvoo to see an orthodontist ASAP and get my teeth taken care of before I get any older. I felt self-conscious knowing I hadn’t eaten anything and my mouth probably smelled vile (aren’t you glad you’re reading this?), but seeing an orthodontist was never going to be more convenient for me than it was right then. So, I took my turn in the chair and was given a look-over. In a nutshell, the orthodontist told me that $3,500 and 24 months could have me looking “really nice.” I don’t know where I’ll get the money, but it’s got to happen. This absurdity has gone on way, way, way too long. Getting braces has been on my to-do list (and not just my “should do it” list) for a solid decade now, but I’ve never felt financially able to do it. I was also never sure how long I’d be living in the same area, and for some dumb reason, I let that be an excuse. I figured being an adult—and a rather severe case at that—I’d be a multi-year project, and I didn’t want to move in the middle of working with an orthodontist. I know, it sounds really lame in hindsight. But I always thought, “Well, as soon as we move somewhere else and are a little more settled, I’ll get started on it.” And that’s just never happened. Time to be a responsible adult, since my parents kind of blew it in that department. (If you’re reading this, Mom and Dad, you can assuage some of your guilt by helping me foot the bill. Thanks!)