"out of the mouth of babes..."
My college son came home for the weekend and he was in a good mood so we started having a casual chat. The subject of our ward getting a new Bishopric this weekend came up. He mentioned that he and his buddy down the street were speculating about possible candidates for Bishop and that his friend suggested my name...
"And so what did you say?" I asked curiously.
"You don't want to know," he replied with a bit of embarrassment in his voice.
"Why not?" I insisted.
"Well... I told him that it couldn't be you because you're too... well... too goofy".
"Too goofy!" I smirked, not sure whether to laugh or cry at my son's choice of words. "What does that mean?"
"You know... it means a couple of things." He hesitated a bit, but could tell that I wasn't going to let this accusation of "goofiness" slip by without an explanation.
"Go on. I'm waiting." I said impatiently.
"Well - first of all, now don't take offense, you always take offense..."
"I promise I won't get offended, even though I'm now offended that you think I always get offended."
"Okay, I'll just say it - you're too touchy."
"Yeah, I mean you're either constantly hitting every man in the head or wrestling with the young men.
You know, normal bishop-types don't do that."
"Oh, they don't?" I questioned.
"And if it's not hitting or wrestling the men, then you're hugging or kissing all the old widows. What's up with that?"
"I don't know. Maybe I'm a bit more affectionate than most. Is that a bad characteristic?"
"No, Dad. I didn't say it was bad. It's just a bit goofy." There he goes again with that word.
"Is there more?" I asked, dreading what was next to come.
"Well, yeah. You're also not straight-arrow enough. You don't toe the line. You're too rebellious, you know... too independent."
"Not straight-arrow enough? I don't toe the line? Too rebellious? Too independent?" I repeated incredulously. I thought I was a straight-arrow (as straight as a gay father can be)!
"Yeah, you know... you're not normal enough to be a bishop. You like to do your own thing, like the way you grow your hair out longer and you fight against certain things and you like to teach independent of the manuals and not always follow the rules."
"So, in your opinion, those are bad qualities for a good priesthood holder?" I probed a bit deeper for his real meaning.
"I didn't say that! I mean, I know you have a testimony and you believe in the church and all, but Dad, you're not normal, you know? I like that you're independent and willing to challenge people on things, and I like that you bend the rules and do it your own way... you're just too goofy to be a bishop."
"uh... so you're cool with me being too touchy, and too independent?"
"Yeah, Dad. Don't get me wrong. I think you're great! You're just not normal enough or boring enough to be Bishop."
"Thanks (I guess). I'll take all of this as a compliment," I added cautiously.
"You should!" he insisted.
"Glad we had this little chat, son."
"No problem. Any time, Dad."
So, in my normal gay way of over-analyzing things, I took from this that my son (who may suspect that I have attraction issues, but we've never discussed it), has observed in me 1) a sense of showing affection beyond the norm, and 2) a sense of rebellion or independence beyond the norm - to the point that I would be disqualified in his eyes to be "peter priesthood" enough to be called as a Bishop... both traits that may be magnified by other homosexual core characteristics.
1) You never realize how much your children watch you and what lasting impression you are leaving on them!
2) Your teenage son may be wiser than he seems.
3) Truth comes out in odd ways.
4) Be careful who you are. Your almost adult children may learn to like you after all.
5) I'm not normal and I'm too goofy... hmmm, maybe that's a good thing. The last thing I'd want to be is Bishop! :)