Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Glad He Asked

Today I was at Costco with Mark while the other two were at piano lessons. As I was buying my food, the cashier asked me how I like the new milk jugs. I told her I hated them. My kids can't pour them without spilling. The lady who was putting my purchases in the cart said I should wait until one of the jugs is empty, fill it with water and let the kids practice with that. (When you have to spend time practicing pouring milk all is not right with the world.)

I said that I spill milk half the time too. "I just hate them," I said.

As we were walking to the van Mark said, "Am I one of the kids you hate?"

I quickly assured him I hate the milk jugs NOT the kids. He smiled up at me and said, "Oh."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

creative, original, imaginative, inspired, artistic, inventive, resourceful, ingenious, innovative, productive…

When I was a teen-ager, I had the Young Women values taught to me again and again. One of them is individual worth. On some level I believe every word. Yes, I have individual worth. I know I have talents and abilities (and yes Hannah, perfectly shaped eye-brows!). On a different level, then why do I compare myself to others…and come up lacking?

I wish I knew.

Here’s what I do know though. And I’ve known this since I knew I had a mother and father that love me. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I know it.

Here’s another thing I know. I can look at my children and see THEIR worth. It abounds. It is so blaringly obvious to me that I wonder someone hasn’t kidnapped them by now just because they are so fabulous and anyone would want them.

In my imperfect mothering, if I can see that in my own children, why don’t I remember that my Heavenly Father must see that in me…in all of us?

I know that because he loves us, God sends us help. He did last night. I went to the General Relief Society broadcast, which is always a thrill. I love it. Sitting in the darkened stake center, surrounded by friends and taking in the wonderful talks on the big screen, I couldn’t help think about my friends and family all over the country doing the same thing, filling their wells.

President Uchtdorf, in his charming German accent, spoke about “a principle that will help (us) find a path to peace, hope and joy.” All around me I could feel women sit up and pay attention. We needed this! My friend Stephanie reached over and squeezed my arm. He said,
“Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Father in Heaven’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate.”

Of all of the good and true messages I heard from speakers at last night’s meeting, I can’t get the idea of creativity out of my head. I have been thinking about times when I was truly feeling creative…not trying to emulate someone else…but really living by my own lights. That was when I felt most alive, most like me. When I feel like that, I feel happy. I feel like I have a solid place in the world and don’t need to measure up to any false standard I’ve fabricated in my silly head. That’s what I want to hold onto.

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Friday, September 26, 2008

Predictably Surprising

A nice blend of prediction and surprise seem to be at the heart of the best art.
-Wendy Carlos

Turns out a nice blend of prediction and surprise seem to be at the heart of the best husbands too. I can predict certain things about Adam. For example, he will tirelessly seek and almost always find a free parking spot. The man loves free parking. If you ever need a free parking spot in Seattle, give him a call. He will hook you up. He knows all the good ones.

Another predictable thing about Adam is that he’ll surprise me. He is forever making things more interesting. Yesterday I took Braeden, Emma and Mark to the Pacific Science Center. A bonus to our trip was that Grandpa Linn, Grandma Geri and Adam's cousin Jamie and her son Ashton who are visiting went also. I am a girl who likes a plan and I had my plan. I knew roughly when we were leaving, when we were coming home, what work I was going to do before we left and what I’d save for when we got home. I had my plan.

Then Adam called from work.

“Hey,” he said, “Do you want to go to the Mariner’s game tonight after the Pacific Science Center?” After allowing my plan loving mind to wrap around that I said sure.

We went to the Pacific Science Center, saw the dinosaur room...

Kicking back in a dinosaur footprint

played in the water machines outside...



and wandered through the butterfly exhibit.

Emma and her animal magnetism...

Emma got to let bugs crawl on her...


and Mark and I played tic-tac-toe against a robot. He said, “What’s a robot?” I told him it was like a droid. “Ohhh!” I was suddenly speaking his language.

We finished our visit by viewing a movie about Mt. St. Helens erupting in the IMAX theater. Mark said, “Is this going to be a real movie or just a talking movie?”

“Well…”

“A talking movie.” He was disgusted. Since it was only about 20 minutes and pretty impressive, he survived it.

We drove to Adam’s office and I happily scooted over and let him drive. Our plan in the little bit of time we had before the game started was to go to IKEA and get new doors for our armoire. They apparently don’t withstand repeated blows from light saber wielding red heads.

They don’t sell just the doors. What? Are we the only ones whose son attacks furniture? Darn.

I was also—and you aren’t going to believe this—too tired to walk through the store and soak up all the lovely IKEA sights. Too much trying to keep up with children all afternoon. We didn’t really have the time anyway. We had our requisite meatballs and lignonberry sauce fill and headed back to Safeco Field.

Predictably, Adam found a free parking spot. I had told Adam earlier, in case he didn’t find a free spot (what was I thinking?) that I did have cash. Neither of us usually have any. Perhaps that’s why it surprised me so much when Adam approached one of the scalpers on our walk towards the game. He said, “Do you have 5 tickets?” I instinctively gathered my children closer to me. While he didn’t look like the shadiest character on the Seattle streets, it seems a little dodgy to be doing business with a scalper.

Adam struck a deal to get 5 really good seats (normally $65 each) for $60. Wow, I thought…there goes Adam again, surprising me. I didn’t know he had that much cash on him. He didn’t. He turned to me for the $60. I looked in my purse and had $33. We left our friend and continued towards Safeco Field. We met another scalper who’d been lingering near during the first transaction. He said, “I know, you need 5 tickets.” Adam said, “Do you have two?” He traded our $33 for two tickets then went to the box office and bought three more. Braeden and Emma were looking to me to explain their dad and I couldn’t. All I knew was that we’d spent A LOT more than we ever had before for our usual nosebleed section and we weren’t sitting together!? Adam said, “It will be empty, we can probably all sit together.”

Predictably, Adam called it. We all slid into the section with the scalped tickets. They were great seats.

The Mariners set a record two days ago for the first team with a payroll of over $100,000,000 to lose 100 games in a season . They are really one of the worst teams in baseball this year but we had a marvelous time. Along with the other Seattle faithful who were there on a chilly September night, we cheered our team and booed the questionable calls (a.k.a. calls in the other team’s favor) and sang proudly during the 7th inning stretch. I think they should change the words to the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” though. Maybe instead of “Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks,” it should be “Buy me some breath mints and garlic fries.” Oh how we love those garlic fries!!!

In the eighth inning when it was getting to be 10:00, I started hinting about it being time to go home but the game was tied! There was no way we could leave. They needed us there to cheer.

J.J. Putz, the closer for the Mariners and a personal favorite of Braeden’s came out to much fanfare. The words “Thunderstruck” reverberated on every screen in the field.

J.J. Putz taking the pitcher's mound...

I took one look at Braeden and saw that yes indeed, he was thunderstruck.


Forget what I didn’t accomplish yesterday. Forget how tired and/or grumpy we all are the next day. Forget how much money we paid to watch one of the worst teams in baseball lose (they did eventually despite our cheering efforts). Braeden got to see one of his heroes. How fortunate to be witness to his delight.

Thank you predictable surprising Adam.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Feeling Blue

Last night we did the Hartman Color Code personality test. My sister Marianne was into it in college and Adam and I had taken it then. We were interested in retaking it and giving it to our kids. Because if you know what color you are, you really are equipped to succeed in life am I right?

It was very entertaining to take the test as a family. Some of our answers were very revealing. At one point I said out loud, “I don’t know, am I indecisive?” One of Emma’s answers was forgetful. She said, “Now which one was that again?”

We helped each other with the questions when we needed it. That was sometimes nice like when Braeden said, “Oh Mom, you’re definitely gentle,” but also sometimes brutally honest like when Adam said, “You’re absolutely more self-righteous than self-deprecating.” Thank you.

Here’s the personality overview in a nutshell:

Red
Core Motive: Power
Natural Talents: Leadership, vision

Blue
Core Motive: Intimacy
Natural Talents: Quality, service

White
Core Motive: Peace
Natural Talents: Clarity, tolerance

Yellow
Core Motive: Fun
Natural Talents: Enthusiasm, optimism


I am very blue on the scale. Each color comes with positive and negative character traits and I’m thinking (self-righteously) that I lean way more towards the positive side of things. Adam is pretty evenly each color. (Renaissance man show off.) As I read more about each color though. I think he’s white with the red tendencies of a first-born. Emma, who’s a lot like her dad is pretty even too. Braeden is a first-born red and Mark is unquestionably yellow. What difference does all of this make? Absolutely none but now we want to give the color test to our friends.

Paul Pelosi's Shirts

There are some admittedly strange things about me. One of them is that I’ve been thinking about Nancy Pelosi lately. I read an article about her in Reader’s Digest. It was an interview and she said (speaking of her husband),
“I didn’t iron his shirt either." He said, “Can you iron this?” I said, “Yeah, give it to me.” I ended up rolling it up into a ball and putting it in a drawer. Years later, someone found that shirt and said, “What is this doing here?”

My guess is that this anecdote was shared to illustrate her feminist ideals and unwillingness to be oppressed by a man.

I just thought it was weird.

Here’s another strange thing about me. I like doing laundry. I really do. Of all the depressingly repetitive household tasks that exist, it is my favorite. There’s something satisfying about a pile of dirty smelly laundry being transformed into neat fragrant piles. The depressingly repetitive side is that tomorrow you have to start all over again.

We didn’t have our own washer and dryer until we were married five years and I still remember the first night one of my kids threw up in the middle of the night and we had a washer and dryer. “Yes! I can take care of this RIGHT NOW!”

Exciting stuff.

I like folding my family’s laundry too. I loved the impossibly small socks and t-shirts my babies wore and I marvel at the impossibly long legged jeans that are in there now. When did their legs get that long? I love it when Adam’s clothes finally turn up in the laundry again after he’s been on a long trip.

Today I was making our bed and I was happily arranging the pillows on Adam’s side and considering the good guy I married that was out of the house before I was remotely conscious this morning. I’m glad I can make the bed and make a comfortable place for him.

Then it hit me why Nancy Pelosi’s comment keeps rattling in my brain. It’s about serving. I’m sure she would say, with her career in public office, that she knows all about service.

Iron a shirt for someone you love, Nancy.

I’ll still think you’re a successful woman. You had me at being Speaker of the House.

Thank You Thank You My Heart Sings

When I was growing up, we kept minutes of our family home evenings. I know, but we did. Because of that we realized that for YEARS we sang I Am Glad For Many Things as a closing song. I think because it was short. Then it became a habit. Sometimes we even launched into a purposefully tuneless round of the song, just for kicks. If my sisters were here now I bet they'd join me in a chorus of the familiar old song. They can't though. I talked to both of them today. They're busy.

Anyway, I am glad for many things.

After my previous pity party post, (don't you love alliteration? Once when Braeden was younger we were driving and listening to They Might Be Giants Here Come the ABCs, the song was Pandas Painting Pictures. We had learned about alliteration that morning in school and I pointed it out to Braeden, "See, this is alliteration." His answer? "What do you mean? The garbage on the side of the road?")

ANYWAY, after my previous post, I was surprised and grateful to get such kind comments from my friends and family encouraging me. Thank you thank you my heart sings. Janet even read the post and called me. She said, "I got the distress signal you sent out. Are you OK?"

With such wonderful people supporting me, how can I be anything but everlastingly OK?

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I’m Not Waving; I’m Drowning

It seems in poor taste to complain about something you did to yourself. No one is making me home school my children. And I do love it. I love the sheer delight in Mark’s eyes when he masters the /p/ sound or the wonder on Braeden’s face when he learns something new in science or the triumph of Emma when she remembers Henry the Navigator’s name from last year’s history when Braeden and I cannot. Home schooling just might be killing me though. It is hard. It is harder to home school three kids than two. Does it take rocket science to figure this out? No, about 10 minutes.

The real irony is that yesterday Braeden who is so much like me it’s scary (when he’s not being so much like his dad that it’s scary), had a meltdown because his work was Too Much and he Couldn’t Do It. I gave him my best wise mother lecture about his capacity increasing. I told him about when he was born and I thought I would never be a functioning human again. Then my capacity increased and when Emma came along, and his dad would take Braeden away for stretches at a time, I wondered how taking care of one infant was ever hard. The same thing happened when Mark was born. See Braeden? You can do it!

I lost my pom-poms today though. The cheerleader in me went on vacation (or left because never—not even in my imagination—was I ever the cheerleader type).

I had my very own meltdown.

I had three tyrannical children simultaneously wondering: Why do I have to correct my math anyway? Where is the dry erase marker eraser? (try saying that five times fast) and Am I done with school YET? My mind was reeling with—besides teaching my children today—how on earth I was going to find time to take my kids to piano lessons, make a Costco shopping list, go to Costco, change all the light bulbs that seemed to burn out all at once, get a substitute for a Relief Society teacher, plan my part for the upcoming Relief Society leadership meeting that will be at our house, (when Adam’s in London…and how’s that even going to work anyway?), take Braeden to a doctor appointment, do the laundry and the dishes and change the boys’ sheets—it’s Tuesday after all, take Emma to get her new glasses and get Braeden to his scout activity. Also, what are we going to have for dinner? Or lunch for that matter? All my encouraging and capacity increasing pep from the day before was gone. Long gone.

Luckily for me (unluckily for him?) Adam was still home and was there to catch me while I was dissolving in a heap. He did what he always does, listened patiently then told me what he’d do to fix it. This does two things, it makes me feel grateful that I’m so loved and it also irritates me. I get disgusted with myself that as busy as Adam is, I would need to email him my Costco list so he can shop for me (believe me, I’ve done it before). No, I insisted, I can do it.

And guess what? I did. Maybe (with a little help from the McDonald’s drive thru for lunch and ravioli from Costco for dinner) my capacity is increasing, perhaps as we speak. Come on capacity don’t fail me now! I need you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Part Three: Can You Fall in Love…With a Lake?


I love Lake Chelan. Judging from the million dollar homes dotting its shores, I’m not alone. I've realized as much as there is to love about the Pacific Northwest, it does my Nevada born soul good to be in the desert. I love the desert air and desert sky and confess an affinity to dry brown hills. We rented the wave runner for Adam and I found a grassy shady spot and set up camp. I mostly read and fetched things from the van, which was parked too far away. I did venture out once on the wave runner with Adam. I told him that he now had proof I love him. I was nervous and didn’t really want to go. What didn’t help was that Mark was sandwiched between us. I was still wary of letting any harm come to Mark so as we skimmed along the dark surface of the lake, images of us falling off and losing Mark almost did me in. Forget that Mark’s a better swimmer than I am (it wouldn’t take much to be a better swimmer than I am) and we all had life jackets. I was nervous.

Adam wanted me to try driving. I said OK but we had to take Mark back to shore first. We did and I must admit I enjoyed the thrill of bouncing over waves and feeling the cool spray of the water and the hot sun. It was nice. I was happy to relinquish the handlebars though and take my retreat in my chair with my book.

For the rest of the day I dispensed snacks and drinks and sunscreen (should have done a better job with Emma’s back it turns out). I took pictures and heard tales of bravery. Emma was a little squeamish with the wave runner too. Once she was on it with Adam and Braeden. In order to reassure her, Adam told Braeden to jump off. Braeden didn’t quite know why but shrugged and dove off. So if anyone every says to Braeden, “If your dad told you to jump in a lake, would you do it?” The answer is yes. Emma realized that you could fall off the wave runner and live and she jumped off too. They all got back on and were back at it.

Eventually, Emma decided she wanted to just swim and left the wave runner to the boys. They got more and more daring as the day progressed and had a fabulous time. I was happy to see the pure joy on Adam’s face. He works very hard and makes Everything Happen so I’m glad that he was able to get a reward, however small.

My happy boys

My happy girl..swan diving the day away

It turns out my selfless wifely nature only goes so far though. We had the wave runner for 5 ½ hours then Adam and Emma decided they wanted to dive off the dock then Braeden (who was already dressed in dry clothes and I’d already put away his wet things when I packed up the van) decided to join them and dove in also.

Jumping off the dock.

That was when I got crabby. I had had as much fun as I wanted and I was hungry and hot and DONE.

We got everyone gathered up and dried off and Adam (always wisely placating me when I’m surly) asked me where I wanted to eat. I said, “Red Robin” and he found me one in nearby Wenatchee. What a guy.

Mark fell asleep on the drive to Wenatchee. We woke him up long enough to find out he wanted a pizza off the kid’s menu then he lay on the bench next to me and fell asleep with his head on my lap. I couldn’t rouse him when his dinner came so I ate my Santa Fe burger over the top of his head and unfortunately dropped some of it on him. (It’s hard to politely eat one of those things even when you don’t have a five year old asleep on your lap.) Poor Mark.

We made it home, happy, exhausted and sunburned in odd spots where I missed with the sunscreen. Adam felt the motion of the lake all night I think but it was a good trip. And we’re certainly going back someday.


When we left, Mark said, can we come back next year and do everything exactly the same. I said yes. Except for leaving you behind. Won't do that again!

Part Two: Out Doing Myself

I’ve thought before that I must be the worst mother in the world but I think all of that was eclipsed on Thursday morning. I out did myself.

We were checking out of our motel. It was the type with the door to the room opening outside. The kids were playing on the grassy area by the van and Adam and I were making trips to and from the room. We were bantering back and forth, me telling him that I wanted him to do the manly thing and return the room keys and him telling me I should do it myself. We went in together and Adam returned the room keys with a flourish and we walked back to the van, happily heading to the lake, happily teasing each other, unaware that we were about to be really, really terrible parents.

The kids were in the van, the doors were shut and they were already reading their books. We drove a few blocks and Adam pointed out some apple orchards. He said, “Wouldn’t you like to run through those orchards, Mark?” No answer. “Mark? Where’s Mark?!”

We. Had. Left. Him. Behind.

We immediately turned around and as we assured Mark later, broke the speed limit getting back to him. Mark was sitting forlornly on a bench. I’ve had some pretty low mothering moments but I’ve never felt worse than when I opened the van door and held my arms out to him and he walked slowly towards me, tears streaming down his face. Everyone in the van wanted to hold and reassure him but like my mom used to say each time one of my siblings returned from a mission and she claimed the right to the first hug, I carried him for nine months. I got to hold him. Mark and I both cried and I promised him every way possible that I would never do that again.

While Adam and I had been in the office and Braeden and Emma had been climbing back into the van, Mark had gone up to our room to find us, that’s why he wasn’t by the van. By the time Mark got back to the van. We were gone.

It all was just a matter of maybe five minutes but it was a dreadful five minutes. I told Mark he could have whatever he wanted for breakfast. After breakfast when he wanted a fruit snack and Adam said no because he just ate, I said, “He can have a fruit snack. He can have whatever he wants. For the rest of his life.”

And guess which kid got the first turn on the wave runner?

Part One: The Crossing


On Wednesday we ditched school…I know, I know, I was so excited to get started. Short attention span. We crossed the mountains and headed east to Lake Chelan.

We took the North Cascades Highway, which I’d never driven before (a fact which left Adam’s cousin Kristie shocked, amazed and horrified). We’ve now rectified that situation and I can kind of see Kristie’s point. It was amazing and I’m glad we went. It is a beautiful and dramatic ride and I always enjoy the contrast of going up one side of the mountain in one climate (dense moist forests thick with moss and ferns) and going down in a different climate (dry with incredibly straight and tall pine trees).

At a rest stop, this gorgeous view was on one side:

The pretty Skagit River was on the other side:


And in the middle these little beauties:


They somehow felt out of place.

We stopped in Newhalem at the National Park Visitor’s Center. We could have spent several days just there. Braeden (of course because he chats with everyone) chatted with the rangers and answered their “Question of the Day” about the eating habits of black bears. When he answered their further question about how you can tell from a bear’s teeth that they are omnivores they were so impressed they were high fiving him and telling him that someday he should work there.

I’ll have you know that I didn’t tell everyone standing around. “Hey, I’m that kid’s teacher. A little credit?”

I was thinking it though.

Slug love

Our next stop was Winthrop, which is a little town that someone decided to turn into Frontierland at Disneyland. It works.


Sandal feet on the boardwalk

We enjoyed homemade ice cream cones and watched the world of Winthrop go by.

Braeden said he was going to get saddle sores from eating his ice cream.

mmmmmmm...

We found our hotel in Manson, right along Lake Chelan. Everyone except me went swimming in the pool and we rested up for another day of fun.

Nice to be out of the van

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome To The World, Baby Boy!

My sister, Olivia, gave birth to her third baby yesterday. Much like when every baby has been born into our family, my thoughts are happy and grateful. This baby brings with him an extra measure of gratitude though. He’s something of a miracle.

Olivia’s had pre-eclampsia with her two previous pregnancies. Her other babies were born very early…26 and 29 weeks (I think, my memory’s hazy). Her daughter weighed just over 2 pounds and her son was just under 2 pounds at birth. Also, Olivia’s heath was in grave danger both times, with things happening like her organs shutting down.

Her doctors told her she should not have any more children.

Silly doctors, they don’t know my strong willed sister. They don’t know that the best way to guarantee that she will do something is to tell her that she cannot.

I can’t succinctly characterize Olivia for you. She’s one of a kind. Perhaps this will illustrate her personality a little: from the time she was about 6 and could write, she’s written daily in a journal and read her scriptures. Because at some point she was taught that was important. It did not matter how late it was or how much trouble she would get into for having her light still on when she was supposed to be asleep, she persisted. I remember so many nights of my dad, the disciplinarian who scared me into submission with just a look, telling her to GO TO SLEEP and she would defiantly say, “I’m reading my SCRIPTURES. Don’t you WANT me to read my SCRIPTURES?” What could my dad say? Not a lot. Which was true pretty much her whole childhood. Once when she was fighting with our brother Enoch, my dad cautioned her that she should be careful, someday he would be bigger. Olivia said, “He will NEVER be meaner.” Enoch didn’t stop growing until he was 6’8” tall and I don’t think he ever did get any meaner so they were both right. She’s also the sister that sent me two folded twenty-dollar bills in the mail days after Adam lost his job. She was still in college and I know she didn’t have extra money. She really does what she wants though.

Even when it means having more children at personal risk.

Olivia, prayerful and wise, decided that she would have more children. She found a doctor, a high-risk specialist, who thought she could successfully have another baby and that was that.

I was worried. I didn’t want her to try. It was too risky and I love her too much. Finally I decided that I had to have faith in my sweet sister, in her beloved Dr. Draper and in her answered prayers. I started my own prayers on her behalf.

She was due towards the end of September and her goal was to make it to August. If she could stay pregnant until August, everything would be OK. August came. And went. At 37 weeks, on September 9, she gave birth to a 6 pound 14 ounce son who is healthy and according to her, huge. He can do all sorts of things like breathe on his own and eat without a feeding tube. He is a little miracle and further proof that prayers are answered.

I can’t wait to meet him.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Look What Just Came...


In these boxes...


It was like Christmas morning minus the wrapping paper. And this isn't even everything. It is however enough to keep us occupied for awhile so if you'll excuse me, I have young minds to teach....assuming I can wipe this smile off my face and get serious.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Delight

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang


IKEA has an “It Only Happens Twice A Year Sale”. Tonight we had one of our “It Only Happens Once a Year Meals”. We have a few of them. There’s clam chowder in bread bowls on Pikku Joulu and then there’s the Fall Meal. It is coming. Some day in October, probably a Saturday when we’ve been to a pumpkin patch, we’ll have the Fall Meal. (Pork Chops with Apple Onion Stuffing, Maple Butternut Squash…you can come over if you want.)

Today was Fried Zucchini. Last year we bought a monstrous zucchini at a roadside stand in Snohomish. This year Adam put the zucchini plant in the ground. We watered it during the (moderately) hot summer in our little yard. I fended off the slugs. It was our zucchini.

And I negated any nutritional value it may have aspired to by frying it.

Oh, it was good though.

Everyone else in our family ranged from moderately to not at all excited about the lovely fried zucchini. They didn’t grow up watching their great grandma, grandma and mom make the zucchini in sunny summer kitchens, trying to do SOMETHING with all that zucchini. I did. And I love the stuff.

And I know how to fry zucchini, just like them. You slice the zucchini, dip it in egg, then flour sprinkled with pepper.



Fry it in oil, turn it often.



Sprinkle with lemon juice.



Bliss.

If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.
~Linda Henley

Friday, September 5, 2008

Patience...Not My Virtue

I’m not a patient person. I’m not. Adam would laugh and call that the biggest understatement of my life. There are some good things about being impatient. I do get things done. Usually. There are down sides too. Like Adam almost walking into the night instead of asking me to marry him.

It all had to do with my wedding ring.

First I have to say that I asked my dad if he’d make my wedding ring when I was a little girl and I’m pretty sure he said no. Just no. I don’t think he had a reason.

Then Adam asked him to make the ring and he said yes and I was thrilled. My parents came to Provo for some reason. We were all at Marianne and Robert’s house and Adam went out to the car to “help carry something in”. My mom confided in me that my dad had brought the ring. I started my chorus of “What’s it like? What’s it like?” and she said that she didn’t know. My dad wouldn’t show her. No one had seen it because he wanted me to be able to show it to people. (That’s my good dad!)

When Adam came back, I looked at him expectantly and he (probably on purpose) didn’t take the hint. He had his own plan. I prompted him along, “Did my dad give you the ring?” He said no. Liar! I should have known then that Adam had his own plan to give me the ring and didn’t want me to ruin it but I KNEW HE HAD THE RING AND I WANTED TO SEE IT. I had wanted that ring since I was a little girl and had asked my dad to make it.

Impatience!

We went through a painful (for me) evening with my family. My brothers wanted to go bowling and Adam said we’d join them. What!? That’s when I got really grumpy and Adam took me home. Believe me, looking back, I realize what a brat I was being.

We got to my apartment and I was sulking and Adam was considering forgetting the whole thing. Luckily he is a very patient person. (You know how opposites attract.) He forgave me even when I hadn’t apologized and gave me the ring and has had a lot of practice ever since dealing with my impatience.

My impatience prompts me to start preparing for Christmas in late summer, almost always getting my hair cut on the day I decide to get it cut and never letting more than a day or two pass between picking a color to paint my walls and doing the actual painting. Still, I’d like to think—maybe—that I’ve grown up some. Maybe I’m more patient. I hope.

I’m decidedly impatient today though. My school books have not arrived yet. I am frustrated and impatient. I want to start teaching school. I have these lovely empty shelves in my school room waiting for the books. I have these lovely children to teach and NO BOOKS. I’m blaming everything from the mule train that is probably delivering the books (stubborn mules!) to the bureaucracy that is Washington Virtual Academy that moves so slowly. I know the books will eventually come but it is driving me crazy in the meantime. Every time a vehicle passes my house, my head turns. Is it the UPS truck with the books? I wonder if I should leave home. What if the books come while I’m gone? This is no way to live. Am I supposed to be learning patience? Is that the point? I’m not sure I’m patient enough to learn anything.

Do I feel better after this rant?

No, I just want my books.

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