Monthly Archives: November 2014

Eight

There is something magical about turning eight years old.

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You can think for yourself. You can ride a bike, swim, do math, read, make goals and most most importantly, have self-control. You are practically a grown up, except that you haven’t yet forgotten how to have fun.

In the scriptures the number 8 symbolizes new beginnings. Think about it . . . Jewish babies were circumcised at 8 days, there were 8 people on the ark, and there were 8 Jaredite barges that travelled a new land in the Americas. (If you are unfamiliar with that Bible story, don’t worry. There are a lot more where that one came from.)

So in the Mormon church we believe 8 is the age when a child can make decisions for herself. She has faith in Jesus Christ. She understands how to repent. With this knowledge she is ready to be baptized.

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We do not baptize infants because infants they are too young to be accountable for the things they do. Small children are innocent and guiltless, and there is no need for baptism, for their salvation has already been paid for by the Savior’s atonement.

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After she is baptized with water she will be baptized with fire. That is, she will be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. If she keeps herself clean and worthy the Holy Ghost will be a constant companion and friend who will teach her the truth of all things. Did you catch that? I said: The Truth of All Things.

Baptisms are significant. They are a “saving” ordinance, meaning you cannot be saved without it.  Many people come to watch this great event in your life. Grandparents travel across continents and you get to invite your best friends.

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Even your little brother gets all dressed up . . .

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. . . for a little while, at least.

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(By the way, the tie has been found, and the reward will be given.)

Grown-ups get a little excited about baptisms and they do all kinds of nice things for you. Like your mom might ask all your aunts and uncles and cousins to send you their testimonies.

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So thanks for being born, Naomi. And thanks for turning 8. We are proud of you.

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Now you can stop growing up, okay?

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Filed under Strange Mormon Customs

I Just Wanted You To Know

Today I woke up to the sound of a trumpet, a violin, a clarinet and a piano playing a version of Happy Birthday that also could have doubled as a Halloween movie theme song. It was all to celebrate my freshly-turned-five-year-old boy.

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There was a from-scratch breakfast to make, presents to open, a diaper to change, a puppy to let out in to the backyard, a cat to feed. Daddy is 2000 miles away, bringing home the bacon. But even though he’s gone we still read our scriptures and say our morning prayer (offered by Dan whom I promised could say all the prayers today because it is his birthday). We have our normal scoldings (“You are not done practicing the piano yet, young lady!”) and as usual it takes us fifteen minutes to get from the door to the car since the cat always finds a way to slink into the house and someone always forgets a lunch or a coat or an instrument. Once we are in the car everyone fights like tigers about who is getting in the back seat, even though we made a van seating chart called “The Great Van of Happiness” which doesn’t seem to be working.

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One of Levi’s favorite things to do. Sit at a little table reading a little book.

I take them to school, say I love yous and come home to find the dog piddled in his crate. Then I have breakfast to clean up, a shower to take (“Dan, make sure Levi doesn’t get into the knives, play with plastic bags, drink clorox, open the front door or put anything small in his mouth. I’ll be out in ten minutes”). Once I am clean I spend time with Dan, mounting his new license plate and discussing the other license plates he has on his wall. He asks me what it says on every one. When we get to the Idaho plate I tell him that it says “Famous Potatoes.” He gets a funny look on his face and starts laughing. He doesn’t stop laughing for five full minutes.

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We call Grammie to thank her for the gift she sent. Dan talks her ear off telling her about every second of his day so far. Then it is time for Levi to go down. We play peek-a-boo for a minute so we can leave him happy in his bed. Then Dan goes in front of the t.v. and it is MY TIME.

I write my nanowrimo novel.

It is a ghost story.

Before I know it Levi is awake. It is time for lunch with my boys. After lunch we wrestle. Actually Levi doesn’t wrestle, he just lays on you and rolls around like a walrus. This is pretty much the best part of the day.

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Then it is time to pick up the girls. I pack their piano bags (3 note books and 10 other music books) and dozen chocolate chunk bran refrigerator muffins that I baked during the wrestling match. I get to the threshold of the door and find out I need to change a diaper at the exact moment the cat slithers passed me and Dan is demanding that I bring him a snack for the road.

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The dog is whining in his crate so I take him out again just before we go. Fifteen minutes later we are in the car.

I want to listen to NPR but Danny wants to listen to an extremely annoying CD of scripture songs set to rock and roll music. We listen to that because, after all, it is his birthday. Tomorrow it will be back to NPR.

We pick up the girls at two different schools. This takes an hour, so in between we make a run to the library and check out a few books. Books about cars, of course.

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We pick up the girls. We ask them about their day. They munch on the muffins. Then we drop them off at piano.  (The girls, not the muffins.) We go to a park and play a game called “Don’t Touch Blue” which Danny thinks it is hilarious. We make up more rules to make it even more hilarious. We leave the park smiling.

We go to the grocery store. I let Dan get a book with mazes since it is his birthday and since he is aMAZEing. By the time we are done shopping it is dark outside and Levi is crying. He is ready for bed. We pick up the girls. We come home. The dog piddled in his crate again. Boo hoo.

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Naomi’s hair on her baptism day.

I make dinner. Pizza for me and Dan (a birthday promise) and mac and cheese for everyone else. No surprise there. Grandma calls. Daddy calls. Then it is homework and bed. There are arguments, as always. Naomi is mad at Dan who is mad at Sophie who is mad at the world. There are last minute stomach aches and headaches. Dan gets five extra kisses cause he’s five: one on his nose, one one his forehead two on his cheeks and one on his neck to make him laugh. Will you let me do this when you are sixteen? I ask. Yes, he says. Now it’s my turn to laugh. Syrena gets a reminder about practicing piano in the morning. Tears are wiped. More kisses given. Lights out.

Dog needs my attention. Curse you, dog. Where is your master?

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Against my will I play with the dog and teach it to fetch his toy.

I tidy the house. It is my turn for Joyschool in the morning. It will be another wild day.

I write this post. As I write I can hear the baby in the room above me. He is waking up for some reason. I cross my fingers that he will go back to sleep soon, but I will probably have to go up and change his diaper and give him another bottle.

I still have to take out the dog one last time. Is that rain I hear?

This is my day. No one took a photo of me. No one patted me on the back. No one gave me an A or a medal or handshake or money. I got paid in kisses and hugs, and I got lots–and I mean LOTS–of attention. And all throughout my day I thought about how much I love doing this. I LOVE it. I love being a mom. Motherhood is so hard and it is so not glamorous, but it is the greatest job in the world.

I just wanted you to know that.

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Filed under Parenting