Our church does a really cool thing. It runs a four-year program of daily religious study for high school kids, starting at 6:20 a.m. before their regular class schedule. And they attend. In droves.
You can imagine the discipline and commitment it takes. So it’s quite a big deal to get a four-year pin and a diploma. And right now, in early June, is when they have Seminary Graduation.
However, the one thing Seminary cannot do is remove the monkey gene, if your kid has one. And naturally, my mind goes back to the graduation ceremony of our son, Cassidy, when he achieved this honor ten years ago.
First, picture it. We are all sitting in the chapel pews, dressed up for the occasion, excited to see him walk up when his name is called. One by one other kids go up, receive their diplomas and pins, shake hands with a member of the Stake Presidency, and march confidently back to their seats.
And then the speaker opens the next leather-bound diploma, and WITH A STRAIGHT FACE says into the mike, “Cassidy Thadwell Hilton the third, Junior.”
Are you kidding me? This solemn occasion, the culmination of four years of hard work, and our kid submits a fake name? And they print it up and let him get away with it?
Now, mind you, the speaker knows us. He knows that if Cassidy is a junior, his father must have the same name, right? But it’s Bob. And nobody in the history of mankind, I believe, has ever been named “the third, junior.” Thadwell is also a contrivance.
There’s some snickering and I can feel my face reddening as people turn to stare at us. Yet our monkey boy is on his feet, proudly marching up to receive this bogus document.
And he's apparently still up to his antics. For one thing, I keep getting junk mail for “Gustav” Hilton and “Spanky” Hilton. Hey, for all I know he faked his own birth certificate. I wouldn’t put it past him.
Have you seen my YouTube Mom videos? This is what happens after you raise four comedians.