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How a child grew up

November 14, 2008

I remember growing up and becoming self-aware. (Now I sound like a robot -_-.) What I think was particularly cool about growing up was how eventually, I came to be so aware of myself (hopefully not self-centered though!) that I started noticing my own maturation and progress. I’m sure psychology will tell us that this is natural and all young men and young women will eventually do it (and it’s not as weird as hair growing in funny places!)

I think we all know examples of this process in action. For a non-LDSrific example, young kids, so immature and anxious about everything, just can not wait for Christmas. At least, I know that Christmas Eve for me was always torture. I couldn’t go to bed, but I knew that if I didn’t go to bed, then Santa wouldn’t come. (Man, I already made a post zinging Santa…I’m such a bad person! [but the again, my parents kinda busted that one when we went to Houston for one Christmas. My mom said: “Of course Santa doesn’t come down to Texas; it’s too hot! So let’s go to the store to buy your gifts!” And then I realized…that’s what she and dad did every year.”])

Eventually, I think all kids become less anxious for Christmas…and I think they recognize this change in themselves. That’s what I mean by coming to self-awareness. One realizes, “Hmm…I now have no problem waiting for Christmas. That’s pretty cool. I must be a better, more reasonable person in some way because I can do this.”

Ok, so much for holidays.

I had another way to benchmark my progress – church. I think any member will recognize that kids in Sacrament are a tremendous ordeal. I don’t know why parents continue to embarrass themselves by bringing their kids in. Maybe it’s because they feel the spiritual blessings of bring bad, loud kids to church is worth more than the social embarrassment of bad, loud kids being bad and loud during the most reverent parts of the service. Or maybe it’s just because people don’t want to pay babysitters (on a Sunday! *gasp*) Maybe they have chloroform and want to use it.

I remember the days when I couldn’t get through sacrament. Oh man, it was bad. Falling asleep is terrible. And this was in the time when my father decided it would be best to sit in the front row of the pews. What a terrible idea.

Eventually, I could listen to the talks, but simply be bored out of my mind (someone remind me to talk about that rather old [by internet standards] blog entry…I have a disagreement with it.) OK, so far, so good. Eventually, it got to the point where my father and mother would get compliments because of how attentive my brother and I were. I guess the speakers were so shocked that sub-10-year-olds could maintain eye contact with speakers throughout talks. And then my family moved to our comfortable spots in the back-most pew.

Maybe it’s because a lot of the speakers are…not very good…but sometimes, I admit that I still sometimes feel that things are boring.

Recently, I reached a new level of maturation and attention span: General Conference. For a person who once could not last an hour of Sacrament, the multi-session conference is the Final Boss Battle.

To be sure, I wasn’t necessarily listening and watching for the *right* reason. I wasn’t listening for spiritual edification, whatever that is. Really, I was watching along with the By Common Consent crew for one thing (everything’s more fun with a group of intelligent people): to hear if a GA would talk about prop 8 or gay marriage. It was easy to be absorbed into the talks through multiple sessions (since they stuffed the comments on marriage in the very last session — that’s just good marketing, I guess; keep your audiences listening to the very end to hear the good stuff!)

I dunno, maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I’m just still reeling over the comparison of some kinds of marriage to “shoplifting.” Didn’t know Elder Nelson had those kinds of burns in ‘im.

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