A few weeks ago, something happened. Something embarrassing. My friends have asked me when I'm going to blog about it. I said, "Never."
It was humiliating.
And don't you think it's nice if you, dear reader, have only the best opinion of me?
Here's what happened.
We were sitting complacently at church in sacrament meeting. It was testimony meeting. All was right with the world.
A sweet, kind older lady in our ward went to the pulpit and told about her recent serious health scare. She collapsed, was rushed to the hospital, had a cardiac arrest, lingered near death. She spoke earnestly about how she'd been comforted during that time, how she'd felt like she wasn't alone.
Then she said, "On a lighter note, I got a nice get well card with names of adults and children. One child had written, 'Get Well Sicko' and had drawn a circle around it. It made me laugh. I don't know who Mark is, but I want him to know that this 'sicko' got better."
I had the sinking feeling that I knew who Mark was.
I had the sinking feeling that everyone else in the room, everyone else who was laughing, knew exactly who Mark was.
Mark excitedly whispered to Emma, "That was me!" Emma jabbed him in the ribs and hissed for him to be quiet.
Braeden hung his head. So did Adam. And me. Thankfully we sit in the front row usually so we didn't have to make eye contact with anyone. I felt terrible. Mark, Mark, Mark. I also felt very grateful that this lovely woman had a sense of humor.
After the meeting, Braeden whispered in my ear. "He has shamed our family."
Everyone else I talked to for the rest of the day was delighted by it though. (They were glad it wasn't their child, I'm guessing.)
There's nothing like having your child's poor behavior called out in front of your entire church congregation.
Determined to make a lesson out of it for Mark, I told him that he needed to be careful what people knew him for. I said, "You want people, when they hear the name Mark, to think of someone kind and good, not someone who is rude when they're trying to be funny."
I upped the ante.
I said, "You're named after your grandpa and he's a very good man. You need to make him glad that you have his name by your good behavior."
Mark said, "Didn't your dad tie his teacher to his desk in high school?"
"Yes...he did. But that was a long time ago! Grandpa is a very good man now!"
I would give up but I don't want anything like this to ever happen again so I'll persevere.
I just want Mark to start wearing a sign pinned to his shirt. "My mom really is trying."