(From left to right- Delanie, a friend of Jason’s, Devon)
It is Memorial Day Monday! I have a headache from laying in bed and writing in poor posture form, with my head against a hard wall and lower back aching for no good reason including sex or kickboxing. I went for a long run today at the zenith of the warmest day in Summit County to date. So, my new sunburn is living up to it’s name and I am spontaneously igniting in bed…(not in that way, mind you!) …typing feverishly, sillies! I take two ibuprofen and return to remembering Mother’s Day. I miss my mom. My girls often miss me as well, as I go missing in action to adventure.
I have been meaning to get back to installment #2 of Mothers Day. And so, I think on two lovely daughters who make every day wonderful. Not just on Mother’s day. I look forward to summer to make it up to them.
These musings are interrupted by a brief reality check. As I ponder Mother’s Day, “Take One,” I realize I am still doing the same predictable glorifying of their older brother. I realize this now. Looking back. Mother’s Day Weekend was likely too much celebrated on an emotional high of Skype-ing Anziano Robertson, my Italian missionary son on the Island of Malta. Skype-ing was grand, but I am ashamed it took work for me to see what is every day in front of me….my girls.
Used to be, when they were small, I could not miss them at all. They were under foot. They needed me. They were loud, and adorable, and giggly. On my big day, they would get up early and make me a special breakfast in bed: cold toast, hard butter, greasy burnt bacon, cold rubbery scrambled eggs, warm juice. Ha ha. It was delicious. This year, this did not happen, nor did I expect it to. Those days are long gone. My girls sleep in. And, they are no longer breakfast eaters, or short cooks. (Get it?)
What did happen was this: I woke early, showered, dressed in nothing special other than jeans, a T-shirt, and my Swim Team hoodie. I ambled into the dirty kitchen where Mark was eating cereal.
“Happy Mothers Day!” he smiled and handed me a big bag of raw almonds and a pink potted flower that looked a lot like the one I gave Granny last weekend.
“Thanks, Pard.” I replied…..”Ready to go?” And so we were off to Salt Lake International Airport.
After I escaped the drop-off, 10 mile-per-hour speed limit, I went on an adventure to Whole Foods for coffee, and then live music and the Spoken Word at Temple Square. This performance was amazing! I especially loved the bell ringers and the orchestra. The choir and Yosemite size organ was pretty cool too! It had been ten or more years since I had dropped in on my downtown tradition.
I sat in an incredible work of egg-xact architecture: a hard boiled, acoustically perfect organ hall of internationally renowned vocalists, and full orchestra and bell choir. The pillars supporting an egg white ceiling were some kind of pine, painted to look marbeled. Amazing. Witnessing this spectacle with me were tourists from around the world, including a group of study abroad students from China, and a quirky collection…ha hah.. of librarians from far away Argentina. They were in SLC learning about ancient record preservation. There was also a large pile of Maple leaves from Canada. Of course there were also brothers and sisters, and some very helpful, selfless ushers who had gifted their Sunday morning. It was a comfortable body of worshipers.
Under the hush of live broadcast, and the panning of an imposing boom camera, I sat on what looked like a sawed-off, small, hard wooden bench. The Mormon settlers must have been really small people! Pixies! I thought…as I sat next to tall man with an accent named Hans, who looked continually at his fine Swiss wristwatch. He seemed obsessed with keeping time. His dress and mannerisms also spoke of precision.
Not me. I filled my space, swaying and silently singing under my breath. Drawing a huge uncontainable smile, I kept time to a show tune, tapping my foot and patting my thigh. I think this informality made Hans and a few Sunday best dressed a little distracted. Then Hans moved his rain coat, umbrella, and program to “the other side,” as if he did not want to risk touching a stranger.
I smiled, and shrugged. Who has time for starched behavior when music is playing?… I thought. Little did Hans know, I WAS being relatively good in making NO NOISE. See, noise and expression is exactly what I LOVE about some Evangelicals I have worshiped with. They are not afraid to show emotion in their musical worship. The same goes for the Genesis crowd, an African-American contingency of Later-day-Saints that meet the first Sunday evening of each month in Murray, I think.
At the conclusion of the rehearsal, I dashed to the North Visitors Center. By now the coffee was kicking in, and punch-jabbing my bladder, until I knew I could not bear to hold it thirty more minutes. So, under the Universal dome of stars, and the kind gaze of an Anglo Christus, with outstretched flawless, nail printed ushering hands, I skittered around. My Savior seemed to say in laughter, “I love you…..the bathroom is DOWNSTAIRS. jk…Here, I found a very clean restroom worth envy. 🙂
Then back to the repeat of what I had just heard in the Tabernacle. This instant replay felt sort of like what the Homecoming and Summit County Fair parades used to feel like. If you didn’t catch it with the salt water taffy on the way up Main Street, you caught it on the way back. It was two shows for the price of one. Well, in the case of the Tabernacle Choir, it was two long quiet sits. This was good for my quest toward silence, and self control. Very good.
After the live broadcast, I emptied out into the courtyard like so many other visitors. There, I listened to dozens of sister missionaries turn like a wagon wheel, each introducing themselves by name and country. Sister Italy had very BIG hair. I had hoped to speak with her, but did not. Instead, a companionship of a sister from New Zealand, and another from Georgia took me and a handful of tourists from Canada and Australia on a tour of the Assembly Hall and the South Visitor’s Center.
In the Center was an giant model of the Salt Lake Temple, which showed the furnishings of each room. The missionaries explained the purposes of the quarters. At the end of this, I explored exhibits on my own. My favorite was among the humanitarian display and focused on Savior-like Service. There were interactive video clips and large scripture verses displayed. This place felt good.
When I got home, I found a continuation of the days sermon of love and selfless giving. A special surprise lay in wait for me in my messy bedroom of laundry baskets. Plastered all over the walls and bureau mirror were Mother’s Day Well Wishing Cards from my students. Devon had arranged for this.
Middle had dropped in unannounced the Friday before Mother’s Day and sent me away. Then she and the kids worked their magic moment. This was wonderful. Nice to have a break and nice to think on a surprise that would present itself in time. Devon truly took me unaware in coming to my classroom that day. I remember all the days I used to, quite forcibly, drag my girls to school “to help” me with projects. This one came uncompelled or forced upon by my Middle girl. She gave it freely. I was impressed, and very grateful. 🙂
Also VERY visible on my bed was a HUGE, oversize homemade Gift Card for a FREE SPA DAY, compliments of my Angel. This 14-year-old loves girly things: clothes, make-up, hair, nails, presentation. A far cry from her Tom boy, active mother. Rather, Angel spends hours reading and watching videos of the pretty kind. She can duplicate any number of make-up looks, and especially hair ideas. I think I own stock in the Smith’s Beauty and Cosmetics Isle. This is a place where we enjoy speed skating on slick concrete floors with slick shoes. So fun…..just not free.
Angel loves her hobby, and is becoming more and more of a beauty consultant to me…..that is, when I will listen to her. Mostly I just wear what fits and suits the “me” look. Now that school is out I will be taking her up on the Spa services as I continue the remake of my middle-age self. She will have fun inflicting pain in plucking my Wild Thornberry eyebrow hedges. Ha ha. This reminds me of a crazy parent story. Someday I may share this publicly.
So that was my Mother’s Day. It was one of the more pleasant glorifications I have known, absent the regular hassle of church services, high fructose corn syrup candy, and most certainly with the bonus of two beautiful young women I am honored to call daughters. I am blessed again and again. 🙂