Sunday, August 8, 2010


Tonight I was at my bishop's house for dinner as a farewell gesture to me and my roommates (we're all leaving the ward shortly). He also had his family over, and I quickly became acquainted with his four year old granddaughter Savannah.

You see, I don't get a whole lot of exposure to kids. I didn't babysit a whole lot growing up, I don't have extended family around who have small children, and my friends who are married and have kids are mostly all dead to me at this point (meaning I don't have regular interactions with them anymore). So kids are a novelty to me, and when I'm around them I do my best to interact as much as possible and flex my figurative potential-future-child-rearing muscles.

As it turns out, four year olds aren't hard to get talking.

Savannah: Guess what I did?
Haley: What did you do Savannah?
S: I saw one buffalo. No wait, two buffalos! A momma and a baby.
H: Oh really? Where did you see two buffalos?
S: At Yest Wellowstone, I mean West Yellowstone. And I saw a bear!
H: I'll bet that was exciting. Was it a scary bear?
S: No, I didn't see him. My mom did. Do you have a sister?
H: Nope, just two brothers.
S: How tall are they?
H: Uhm... you know, that's a good question. I think they're both over...
S: Are they this tall? (holds out hands as tall as she can)
H: Yes, they're that tall.
S: Do you like Baby Zooey?
H: Uh... I don't know who that is.
S: She's a giraffe. Do you want to sleep over?

...And this was the basic gist of our conversation over dinner. Savannah's mom kept a careful eye on us while we were talking to make sure I didn't have any signs of irritation on my face, but I was enjoying myself thoroughly. (I did have to dare Savannah to eat a piece of her dinner faster than I did on a couple occasions, because her mom WAS concerned that Savannah wasn't eating her food. Because apparently SOME children don't look for every opportunity to eat something, which is completely contrary to my memory of childhood.)

As we were eating our dessert, the one topic that I DO try and avoid with children came up.

S: Where are your kids?
H: I don't have any kids yet.
S: Why?
H: Because I'm not married yet and I want to get married before I have kids.
S: Well, maybe when you turn 16 you can get married.
H: (smiling) Guess what? I'm already older than sixteen.
S: (eyes really wide) Woah. Then how come you're not married?

My smile faded a bit as I tried to think of an answer that would appease a four year old. At the same time I thought about how I should probably have an answer for this question all ready to go by now, seeing as how I've been single for a good long while now and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. So I opted for, "Just haven't found the right guy to marry."

Savannah smiled, shrugged, and as she lifted a spoon full of trifle into her mouth she said, "Well, maybe you'll meet him tomorrow."

"Maybe," I said just to respond. Then I took a second to realize that, even as I spoke, in no way shape or form did I have any actual glimmer of hope that I'd meet my husband tomorrow. Then I tried to think of the last time I lived my life day to day with the hope that it was going to be the day I'd meet my future spouse... And I realized it had been quite a long time. I don't remember consciously giving up, but in some ways my daily life would suggest that I have. And in the same moment, I resolved to do something about it.

That whole thought process took only about two and a half seconds, so it didn't sound too unnatural when I said, "Maybe!" one more time with a little more optimism to my voice.

But Savannah was already on it. "You can marry Ewen."
H: Who's Ewen?
S: My friend. He lives across the street from Allie.
H: How old is Ewen?
S: Five. Have YOU ever seen a buffalo?

...Thank you, Savannah, for a fun evening. And for the attitude adjustment.

(Note: If you choose to leave a comment, please don't write anything along the lines of "Oh Haley, you're so wonderful, cheer up, don't give up, he'll come along eventually, blah blah blah..." I am not fishing for a pep talk. I'm just acknowledging that reminders of faith can come in the places and times you least expect them.)