"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

do as I say not as I do

My mom keeps most everything in an organized sort of chaos, boxed in her garage. My two youngest brothers laugh about once using two ski poles untouched in twenty years for a sword fight, breaking them, and then dumping them in the garbage thinking she'd never miss them amongst the other keepsakes.

Enter Mom to the garage ... tilts her nose to the air ... takes a deep breath inward ... and asks where her ski poles are.

Hilarious laughter all around.

They are funny boys.

I wonder aloud if she's still got that telephone and cord that used to wrap all the way around the house from the old rotary hooked to the kitchen wall. Boy, if anyone ever comes across that old thing ... I'd really like to have that for Christmas.

Because, much as I'm sure I hated being on the receiver end of those days — trying to swap secrets to a best friend over the phone tucked neatly away under the dining room table .. or closet ... or stairwell — I'm already tired of the recession the teenage cell phone age seems to cause.

Hence the recent withdrawal and regroup.

We had stories to tell. What will kids these days say at the end of theirs? "I sure wish I'd sent more texts" ??

Texting creates distance. Texting replaces social skill. Texting is an escape. 

Pleas of why can't a teen be allowed one guilty pleasure? And then comes the counter attack of "it's no different then blogging ... mom" ... 

It is different in so many ways, but just the same, I've been walking the walk.

That's the nutshell, anyhow, so carefully, new rules apply .. on all sides.

Even though, we've been busy.

Winter .. and Christmas .. are in full swing. Saturday, as kids skied with Newel and church friends for our annual scout ski day, Eliza, Charlotte and I cranked the carols and held a wrapping party. Her excitement over each brightly papered item was delightful.

And as kids walked in from an exhausting day she declared, "I have secrets coming out of my ears!"

It's just a matter of time before they come out of her mouth.

This scout couldn't love being a scout more.

Celia completed her young women's personal progress receiving recognition at an evening of excellence. We tease her about the "Arise" part of the "Arise, Shine Forth and Sparkle." motto but she's got the rest of that theme down.

She also tried.. again .. for a school play. Singing in the Rain, this time requiring a little tap dancing. I taught her one move in the kitchen so she could fake it at the audition the next day. The panel asked if she could tap dance and she replied, "Of course!", throwing down her one and only step.

She made the ensemble.

She's in real trouble now and better keep living the lie.

I love this man.

And I love this baby.

And I love this man holding this baby.

And I love this baby now saying "Dada".

And I love his excitement over the possibility that she might actually be calling out to him and not just uttering a first sound as she becomes accustom to tongue, lips and voice.

And I love that when she gets going over in the baby bed in the middle of the night, I can just nudge him and say, "She's calling you."

Christian played an entire basket ball season on the school team. That boy has got height and arms and legs ... and zero control over it all. But he's darn cute.

It's hard to be frustrated as heck when I've sent kids to bed, climb into my own, and then one by one they come back to lay across my legs and yammer some more.

It's also hard to stop that party.

In other news, Eliza has/had an umbilical hernia.  I say has/had because one day the bulge was there, and doctor appointments later, it was gone. This many kids, you'd think I'd have a nursing degree by now but here's no real explanation so I put the surgery on hold to see if little developing bodies self heal while still growing.

I watch and wait. But while waiting this week in the doctor's office next to the fish tank, she informed me that she'd named the orange fish Hernia .. because she thought it was a pretty name.

Found this in a box in the basement:

Bless her heart. She looks like me. What my father would laughingly call, "Damning evidence."

AND .. I made all of the kids join our ward choir with me. At first they were less than thrilled because none of us can sing. I tried to explain to them that with a newly split ward, it wasn't about the singing at all.

Analogizing as usual, I related how I duct taped fabric over rods to create my first curtains. The ward choir doesn't really care if we can sing. They just want to look full of people. And we are their duct tape.

The Christmas music is lovely and the kids are beginning to agree.

So much so, that I get a little carried away in the loveliness of it all ... and I start feeling the crescendo ... and I start singing loudly ... and the next thing I know all the alto's are following my off key belt ... and the whole thing goes in a hand basket.

But I can't help it. Because it's lovely.

AND .. I cut off my hair to donate ... and because I was tired of washing it.

That's my guilty pleasure. Sorry, texting teen.


  1. True story about Cindy Lynn & present wrapping. When she was Eliza's age we had gone shopping for a sweater for Russ for Christmas. I KNEW she would tell him exactly what it was as soon as she saw him. So the whole time we were shopping and wrapping, I talked to her about how excited dad would be about his new "screwdriver." And sure enough, the minute he walked into the door she said "Dad, we got you a screwdriver for Christmas!" But she never did tell him about the sweater. Now "screwdriver" is our code word for Christmas secret, and it still makes me laugh...good luck to Eliza keeping her secrets inside. Oh--Jason had an umbilical hernia that closed up on it's own. Jared had his fixed, but that was because he needed some other surgery anyway. Rachel had an inguinal (sp?) hernia that came out of nowhere and had to be fixed surgically. How's that--a 50% hernia rate...

  2. I love the switch and bate with the present wrapping! I'll have to try that. So far she's told Christian that the small box with toothpaste in it is an iPhone. She's so far off, I've let her run with it. And glad to hear the hernia history. My sister meg said hers had come and gone repeatedly for years with pregnancy but I only read of the self heal on google so I was just hoping. Glad to hear it really might take care of itself. I so don't want to squeeze that in before or over Christmas!

  3. Leigh Ann begs and pleads..... Why can't I have my cell phone in my room. My response is simply to ask what in the WORLD she might need totell friends WHILE fast asleep. When she argues that John has his (dumb) phone in HIS roo
    , I tell her that when I see John texting nonstop for a full hour and cackling over things that ONLY make sense to him, then I will make him leave it downstairs as well!! I do have to admit..... I LOVE the fact that I can text my big kids at school!!! So nice that if they are having a glitchy hard day, I'm only a text away, And sometimes that is so very nice!!!
    As for Janie- isn't it interesting that the one who got your name looks just like you!!!!