Friday, June 17, 2011

I Brought My Kids To Lodge Last Night

My children are my world. Like the sun, when they rise my day begins and they bring warmth and light to my existence. They know their daddy and they know how much being a mason means to me. They know that a couple times a month I get dressed in a suit or a tuxedo and they always want to come to lodge with me. It’s funny how kids are, because they have now associated daddy getting dressed nicely with lodge. Even when I just put on a suit for an interview or a wedding my little three year old daughter has, since she could talk, always asked me “you go to lodge daddy”? The new building old St. Johns calls home is on a beautiful piece of property with a huge lawn and very family friendly, so for the last meeting before we went “dim” for the summer the WM decided to have a family cook out. When I announced the event to my family, my little three year old’s eyes lit up with delight and she couldn’t stop talking about how “we goin’ to lodge”. Even my seven year old was thrilled to spend an evening at the new lodge building with daddy. When I picked up the three year old from pre-school she got really angry with me because we had to run a few errands and not go straight to lodge, but eventually we got mommy, loaded up the mini van and headed to lodge together.

Six years ago when I started this journey I was the closest thing to a child in the lodge building. The times when kids ran around the building had long since passed. The old guard’s kids had kids and even some of those had kids and none of them followed in the footsteps of their fathers so the temple had become a sanctuary for old men. My oldest daughter, when I brought her around, would light up the room like a star and the old guys always loved to see her tagging along with me. As my family grew and new guys came into the brotherhood all of a sudden there were masons in lodge with young families at home but we never had a place to congregate. This was one of the biggest reasons I had pushed so hard for the lodge to make a move in acquiring a building of our own or finding a suitable place to call home. I had grown up with my father in the Knights of Columbus and I fondly remember dinners and picnics and parties with all sorts of kids of all ages and I wanted the same for my kids. The last thing a lodge should be thought of is the place where daddy goes a few times a month and does mysterious things and sometimes smells like cigars afterward.

A lodge can be a hub of social activity, many lodges are. I have heard of lodges where the wives hang out downstairs while the men are meeting and having book clubs or just relaxing with a glass of wine and talking to each other. Movie nights, Easter egg hunts, Christmas parties are just some of the things that my old lodge had not done in years, even decades. As we approached the lodge building and saw the grills warming up and cars lined up in the parking lot and picnic chairs in a row my heart swelled with the thought of things to come in our new home. During the night the kids played in the lodge room and there is nothing sweeter in my mind than seeing a group of little ones, from two to seven, sitting in the oriental chair in the east and then racing across the room and fighting over who will sit in the west. When the sun set my kids had had a ball of a time, did not want to leave and they couldn’t wait for another night at lodge with daddy!


Jason said...

Brother, I really enjoy reading your posts. I felt a strong connection to this post, as I too have young children that think I am going to "a meeting" every time I dress up. I applaud you for what you have done and are continuing to do for Masonry.

Your Brother,


M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

Thank you Brother Jason,
It is comments like these that make my dedication to this blog so worth it.

Monica said...

That lodge sounds like a very wonderful place. The kids will surely remember these experiences in this place even when they grew up.

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