Days went by. Life went on. All was normal, except my father’s recent daily visits to Hezekiah’s carpentry shop. I tried not to question his motives. Though that evening when Joseph was at our house for dinner was odd, and Joseph had just finished his apprenticeship for Hezekiah and now worked for him, there was no real reason to think my father spending time there was out of the ordinary.
For some time he had talked of replacing our table with a larger one. My family fit around it, but without any elbow room. And my parents loved entertaining guests, which meant many of my younger siblings were sent outside to eat. Even I was sometimes banished to the outdoors to help with the crowding. Yes, a new table would be nice.
Hezekiah was also one of my father’s childhood friends. This made his frequent visits seam very natural. They loved to reminisce over there boyish antics and laugh at themselves for being so ridiculous when they were young. This close friendship, added to the new table was good enough reasons to keep curiosity at bay. So I did my best to mind my own business.
My parents began to speak often in hushed tones when they thought everyone else was asleep. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, nor did I try to, but I kept getting the feeling they were talking about me. One night, as I rolled over trying to get to sleep I’m sure I heard my name. I told myself it was my imagination, but I didn’t truly believe it. One night I even asked God if all parents were this strange. It wasn’t exactly a respectful thing to ask, so in the morning I determined to apologize. But how could I without telling them of my curiosity?
“Yes? What is it, Mary?”
“Last night I asked God a question about you and I think it was disrespectful… so… I want you to know I’m sorry.”
Somehow, that just didn’t seem natural. I spent most the night trying to figure out how to begin such a conversation. If only I was better with words. I felt like I was Moses trying to figure out how to tell Pharaoh that his slaves were all about to leave. If only I had a brother named Aaron. But I didn’t, so I had to just do the best I could.
“Mother, may I ask you a question?”
“Of course! I may not have a wonderful answer, but you may always ask.”
“What’s going on? I’m very confused right now. I see father entering and leaving Hezekiah’s shop nearly every day. I hear you and him talking late at night, though I don’t know what you talk about. Mother, one night I’m sure I heard you say my name. And I feel as though perhaps you and father are turning as strange as Heidi with all that is happening. I don’t mean it disrespectfully. I just don’t understand.”
“Oh, I see. This is something you father will tell you about. He’s planning on telling you tonight. You’ll have to wait until then. Oh, and we are having a guest tonight so we’ll need to make extra food for dinner.”
If I was confused before, I was even more now. It was so mysterious. I didn’t know what to think of it all. But I knew that I would simply have to wait until evening.