Another look at belonging: remember whose yard you are in…

I guess they don’t want any visitors in this yard…

The best belonging allows us to fit in with others while living true to our value and values. Navigating the ins and outs of belonging takes a little bit of bungling and a lot of courage. I know. Once, I lost a chunk of my tongue while trying to belong on the big kids’ playground.

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Our family lived in Canada when I was young and, as a child, I became accustomed to translating for my parents, especially my mom. I didn’t translate from English into French, but from one variety of English into another.

My parents speak with regional New England accents—my Dad’s from New Hampshire and my mom’s from near Boston. People notice my Mom’s “r’s”, or lack of them. She says words like pak instead of park and pizzer instead of pizza. Sometimes, the Canadians didn’t understand her Bostonian accent.

Often, my friends would hear my mother call my brother Mark and ask, “Why does your mother call your brother Mak?”

Once, I was in a small convenience store with my mom and she asked the proprietor for popcawn. The proprietor said emphatically that the store didn’t carry that item, in fact, he’d never heard of such a thing.

Mom insisted that he had heard of popcawn and proved her point by instructing me, “Tell him what I want.”

He did, in fact, sell popcorn. In a variety of types.

Even though I became accustomed to interpreting my parents words so their messages were not confused, I was puzzled a few years ago, when a friend said to me, that she used my Dad’s words of advice (from last week’s blog) with her sons. “I tell them all the time that Pastor Jack says: Remember whose yard you are in.”

If you read last week’s blog, you may recall the words my dad used to say to remind my brothers of their value (Remember who you are) and be as bewildered my friends interpretation as I was.

How could Dad’s message could be misconstrued and morphed into: Remember whose yard you are in? Continue reading “Another look at belonging: remember whose yard you are in…”