What a day! Many days have been declared many things and today seems to be extremely controversial and I know with this blog post I may not have as many friends on Facebook but that’s ok. Friendship is a whole other topic for another day. Today I want to give my two cents concerning: Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, World Breastfeeding Week & “Free” Women’s Care. I’m going to have to split it into three posts so this is part one…
Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day
Let’s rewind time to summer 1999. Ben Folds Five was one of my favorite groups and the song Army was catchy and made me interested in what this Chick-Fil-A place was anyways. That summer I traveled with my best friend Christina and her mom bravely drove all the way from Massachusetts to Central Florida with two teenage girls and her tween son in a Toyota Camry. That trip was very memorable and adventurous. One day we were at a mall in Clearwater, Florida and having our typical food court lunch (oh admit you’ve done it, gone around the food court and taken enough samples from all the places to make a lunch out of it) and there we saw it and both started singing a line from the song: “…grew a mustache and a mullet got a job at Chick-Fil-A…” we actually bought some food that afternoon! When we returned to Massachusetts we would often recall that trip and it wasn’t until six years later, when I moved down to Nashville, Tennessee that I would see Chick-Fil-A again. When I first saw it I had to pull in for lunch because of that song and that fond memory. Christina and her family are my “family” and are true friends and I miss them dearly. Anyways, living in Nashville and partnering with our local Chick-Fil-A for Y events was my first glimpse of the Chick-Fil-A family values. They would often provide food for swim meets, meetings, pool parties, member appreciation days, etc all at no cost to the Y. They just wanted to be a part of the community, especially if it was a family friendly event.
All Chick-Fil-A’s support their local community and the Mooretown Road Chick-Fil-A in Williamsburg, Virginia is another great example. They have a Mommy-and-me play time where Mom’s can go and enjoy the company of other mom’s as well as a free cup of coffee while the kiddos play in the play place or do a craft and listen to a story. They also have a senior bingo morning, family nights, community expos, etc. When Troy left for the army to attend BCT & AIT the owners of the Mooretown Road Chick-Fil-A were extremely supportive of our family. Wren & English would often make an appearance in the restaurant and talk with many patrons. English knew my name, the name of my children and would often as about Troy and how he was doing. She would always tell me how much she appreciated his service.
Now that we live at Fort Stewart, Georgia it saddens me a little that we don’t have a Chick-Fil-A in Hinesville and that we have to drive to Savannah for it. Anyways, today was declared Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day and yes I ate lunch with my family at a Chick-Fil-A in Savannah, Georgia. Honestly I was going to go there no matter what today because it’s become part of our routine since Troy’s been on leave. Since Troy’s been home and on leave our Monday’s and Wednesday’s look like this: we get up, go through our morning routine, take Tedy to speech therapy, sometimes swing by Dunkin Donuts for a coffee or snack, do a bit of shopping or exploring of Savannah and have either lunch of dinner at one of the Chick-Fil-A’s. We really don’t eat out that often and we especially don’t have fast food that often but if you were to ask me which fast food restaurant was my favorite I would easily say Chick-Fil-A. They have one of the “healthiest” fast food menus, clean facilities, play areas for the kiddos, excellent customer service, military appreciation, family nights, etc.
Yet there’s a huge controversy surrounding this day because of some comments made. What happened to freedom of speech? Oh I guess now would be a good time to mention that I’m Catholic. What happened to freedom of religion? I guess it would also be a good time to mention that I have friends that are gay.
So here’s my two cents, what you’ve all been waiting for with part one of this three part series on the controversial topics of the day…I love having good deep discussions with people and respectfully agreeing to disagree. I miss those discussions that we used to have when we attended Vanderbilt Divinity School. Like I said before, I have friends that are gay and I love them and some of them are married and I am happy for them. However, I do not fully understand gay marriage and partly because of my faith I do not agree with it either. When I think about the issue more I’ve concluded that I don’t understand and I question things because it’s in my nature to do so. I’m not gay so how can I possibly understand what it is like to be gay. We live in a very confusing world and there are many things that I simply do not understand. There are many things that make me upset and sometimes make me cry because I get so frustrated trying to understand. God and I wrestle all the time! Yet that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to have these deep discussions and to talk about things and to pray about issues and to see other’s opinions, etc. Just because I have one opinion on a controversial issue and you have another opinion has absolutely nothing to do with a chicken sandwich and why I chose to participate in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. I truly appreciate the establishment and what they’ve done for my family because they’ve been supportive of us in the past and continue to do so. Later I will post my blog about World Breastfeeding Week and Chick-Fil-A is one of the very few establishments that I’ve been at and been praised for breastfeeding my babies! It’s the only place I can go in public and comfortably feed myself and my baby without getting awkward looks and comments from other customers or staff. When the whole uproar over Chick-Fil-A began I pointed it out to my husband. I pointed out the number of families that were there, the positive environment that they set, etc. I do not understand the huge uproar – it’s a Christian organization and Christianity and the Bible have been interpreted in many ways. The greatest thing about having freedom of speech and freedom of religion is that you shouldn’t be persecuted for it sometimes you need to agree to disagree. I think the most important thing about this is that in doing so we still respect each other.