I took my girls to our first 'Mommy and Me' meeting down at the local Methodist church today. Yes, I am starving for human interaction so badly that I swallowed my Atheist pride to go to a church. It wasn't bad, actually it was really nice to get out and talk to other moms. Granted, they aren't aware that I don't believe in their god, as I kept my big mouth shut and I refrained from wearing my Atheism buttons and badges.
Not that they would have cared. I made sure I emailed before I showed up, asking if it was open to the public. I just viewed Atheists so negatively when I was a church goer, I feel that at least one of the moms there would have asked me to leave if they would have known.
It was the 'once a month' meeting where the kids spend the whole time in the nursery so the moms can have 2 hours of uninterrupted adult time. A few moms had their newborns with them, and for a moment before the meeting started it was like Breastfeeding Central. Over all, I had fun. My girls had fun too, they didn't want to leave. When I went to get them out of the nursery, they were dancing to 'Zoot Suit Riot'. (Maddy was spinning in circles and Katie was doing her famous 'bottom shake').
Maybe I am too used to what being Mormon means that I am having a difficult time understanding what being Christian means. Cherry Poppin' Daddies would not be a musical selection that would be playing in the background when picking up my kids from the nursery at a Mormon church. Granted, I don't know of any Mormon Wards that offer this kind of support to mothers during the day, with field trips and days that moms can drop off kids to run errands. But I am sure hymns would be playing come pick up time, if anything at all.
Maybe the term fellowship isn't the horrible thing I thought it would be. I had prepared myself to have an opening hymn, opening prayer, a bunch of talk about god and then a closing hymn and a closing prayer. In hind sight I was prepping for a Mormon gathering. They only mentioned god once while I was there, and it was only in passing. And not even in a pushy or offensive way. Have I said it was nice? Because it really was.
I think I may have to stop expecting Mormon behavior from religious people. I expected to be judged, I expected to be forced into talking about god or at least spirituality. I expected to hear my kids talking about Jesus as we walked to the car, and actually worried about doing damage control on the way home. But what I found was a group of wonderful women, all mothers, who got together on the first Wednesday of the month to share stories, exercising techniques and cookies.
It was nice. Having been with my children almost 24/7 for the past year, I can't even express how grateful I am to have found this group. I am hopeful that I may actually make a good friend. I've made friends since moving here, but a not friend that I actually go out with. A friend that I can craft with or even get my nails done with. I know it's going to be a while longer before I get to that place, but the hope is there. And that is really nice.