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November 14, 2017

posted Nov 14, 2017, 11:05 AM by Christine Merrill
I've heard a lot of women mention that being the wife of the bishop or branch president is socially difficult. They've felt a little isolated because of their perceived connection to the man in charge. It makes sense - nobody wants to look like a brown-noser, so they just avoid the appearance of social indiscretion. 

I am happy to report that I have absolutely no problems along these lines right now.

My identity as wife of the branch president is completely overwhelmed by my identity as the girl who doesn't sign very well, the woman chasing around those 6 kids, the person who doesn't have a calling right now and is available to substitute for someone who is gone, and the new person.

I'm ok with that. In fact, I'm not even sure that everyone has connected me to my husband yet. Heaven knows we haven't actually been seen together :)

Saturday was a Relief Society craft day. Side note: crafting and speaking ASL is a slow process. Ha! ANYWAY, I talked to one older lady who did the nicest thing anyone could ever do to a person like me: she asked me if I was deaf or not. Yes, friends, my ASL is not beautiful, but I don't sign like a 1st year student anymore, anyway. If there was such a things as mental sweat, she would have seen how hard I was working to try to sound coherent!

I took Ellis with me to craft day. She had a lot of fun hanging out with old people and making Christmas bling. She didn't do really well at the ASL. I realized that I've put in a lot of effort over the last month to improve my ASL, and it's helped me a lot. But my kids haven't. They've done some things, but at the end of the day, the amount of effort you put into something is what you're going to get out. I can't share some of my understanding with her. She has to work for that herself. It was a metaphor-for-life moment. I can help my kids learn a lot of things, but they have to be willing to put in the effort to get the things that matter most. I hope my kids will decide to put in the effort.

A funny story: when I got to the Relief Society activity, everyone seemed to know it was my birthday. I was so impressed at how many people must have seen it on Facebook and remembered. Man, the branch is so friendly. Then, one person said something about my back that was totally out of context and didn't make any sense...and finally I figured it out, he was pointing out a paper stuck to my back (in Marriner's handwriting) that said, "It's my birthday today!" It had stayed on for about 45 minutes before someone spilled the beans. Ellis just about died laughing. I took it off and stuck it in my pocket, but Ellis kept sneaking it out of my pocket and putting it back on my back. Finally, I had to rip it up to stay safe!