On a recent family vacation, a drive to the north rim of the Grand Canyon took us through Hildale, Utah and Arizona City, Colorado. I’ll admit we went off the main highway to drive through the towns so we could get a closer look at things. In the last year I’ve read Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall and Escape by Carolyn Jessop. Both books are about the experiences of these women living in this community.
As we drove through town, my eight year-old realized something wasn’t quite…normal.
Lauren: “Mom, why are those ladies wearing long dresses when it’s so hot outside?”
Me: “That’s how the ladies dress in this town.”
Lauren: “They look like pioneers.”
Lauren: “And all the men dress like cowboys.”
Lauren: “Hey Dad, I bet you’d like to live in this town because all the men get to dress like cowboys.”
A few seconds of silence…followed by my husband and me laughing hysterically.
Let it be said that we’re laughing at my daughter’s expense because she doesn’t understand what is going on in this town.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Hildale/Arizona City, it’s a religious community that practices polygamy (meaning, a man can have more than one wife). The people in that area adhere to strict standards and guidelines in every facet of their lives…including how they dress.
Of course our daughter demanded to know what was so funny, so my husband gave her an age-appropriate answer about the community and some of their beliefs.
Lauren: “Sounds like Warren Jeffs and his followers.”
I was surprised that Lauren knew so much about this subject. (Are the teachings of Warren Jeffs included in the second grade curriculum?)
Sometimes it’s just easier at the office. When I’m at work, I don’t have to answer tough questions such as:
“Where do babies come from?” or,
“Is Santa Claus real?” or,
“Why do women wear long, ugly dresses when it's 105 degrees outside?”
A college degree and 16 years of professional experience do not prep you for raising kids and responding to their questions.
If my company needs a press release explaining the benefits and features of a new product, then I’m your person.
If my child wants an explanation about how a hen determines if an egg she lays turns into a baby chick or a breakfast omelet, then I’m a little uncomfortable!
Yikes…maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to drive through Hildale/Arizona City after all.