Even though it's passed for the year, I have more to say about Mother's Day than my Official Mother's Day Post. Because you should celebrate for the entire month, right? The extra stuff I have to say isn't fancy or philosophical, it's just some stuff.
Come with me to Mother's Day, 2003. No, two days before that. So, Friday. That rainy Friday night, we moved into our house (JC helped us move - I gave him some Krispy Kremes). Next day, li'l ~j. (4) was teaching Curly (20 months) how to walk down stairs rather than just crawl backwards. (We had never lived in anything other than a one-story apartment and this house has 4 levels.) Curly, of course, fell. But it wasn't just any fall. She broke her arm. I could tell it was broken just from the way she was holding it. Took her to the ER and over-explained the fact that we had just moved into a house with stairs and this was the result. After x-rays, her arm was wrapped for a few days (for the swelling to go down) before the plaster casting.
Next day was Mother's Day, our first day in our new ward. After church, li'l ~j. and wrappy-arm Curly were sitting on the exact same stairs as they had been on the day before when Curly lost her balance and fell. But guess what. She couldn't walk.
That's right, she had broken her leg.
She cried herself to sleep in my arms as I held her on the couch - or perhaps I cried her to sleep: "Darin, how can I take her back to the hospital? They're going to think that I beat her, they're going to take her away and throw me in jail." (PS - I didn't get this from watching the show. I know about this stuff because my mom & my stepdad both work in ERs. And from watching the show.)
At the ER, again, for the second day in a row, on Mother's Day, I tried my best to make it clear that I was eerily aware of how suspicious this all looked, and pleaded for them to understand that we had just acquired stairs. Really. This time, when we got to the x-ray room, the attendant told me, "You'll have to wait outside. It's policy that we don't allow anyone in here during the x-rays."
"Um, okay, look, I was just here yesterday, as I'm sure you know, which is why you're telling me this, and I know that I actually am allowed to be in there, but I understand. I'm not going to be difficult." They took Curly, closed the door, and I sank to the floor and sobbed in the hallway.
After about 10 minutes, I knocked on the door, and there was no answer. I went in and found an empty room. I noticed another door, on the other side of the room and when I opened it, I found Curly sitting on a chair next to a nurse while the tech was looking at some x-rays on the computer. She told me that they had scanned her entire body and guess what - they found a second break in her arm, at her elbow. She brought up the x-rays from the day before and the break was there, but it had been missed.
So if Curly had not broken her leg, we may have never learned of the second break in her arm.
She ended up with a yellow cast on her right arm (we wondered for a long time if that made her left-handed, and she still writes, draws, does most things with both hands), and a purple cast on her left leg.
She looked pathetic.
And now the matter of the gift. Thank goodness it wasn't a plant! I am currently tending to the ONLY plant to ever survive my ownership - I call the plant Susan, for that's who gave it to me. My sister-in-law is stunned at my growing plant: "I remember when you specifically told me to never, ever give you a plant because you would just kill it." Well, now I have Susan, and she's a-bloomin' just beautifully.
Funny story about Susan - not the plant, but the person who gave me the plant: One day she was at my house, visiting with me while waiting for her daughter to finish Acheivement Days or Activity Days or something (whatever that is. I thought it was called Merrie Miss) and when her daughter arrived (her activity was just a few houses away), she had with her a plant. Curly, of course, said, "Can I keep that flower?" to which Susan replied, "No, Honey, we're going to take it home so that we can kill it." I thought that was very funny.
But back to the issue, which is, of course, the obligatory gift. I love the awkwardness with which the gifts are both anticipated and delivered. Darin remarked on Sunday how difficult it must be to decide what to give because you just KNOW that no matter what it is, at least some people are going to complain. I think that's also really funny.
This year we received Mary "I'm a millionaire solely because of Mormons" Engelbreit-esque journals. I think it's a journal. I was too busy trying to get little people off to class to really look at it. Last year it was a great gift - a CD of Sabbath Songs. And not sung by any queers that call themselves Afterglow (hello?!). It's a great CD, I listen to it pretty often on Sundays.
My brother told me about a ward council meeting he was attending when he lived in Wisconsin; the mother's day gifts were being discussed, and someone said, "What about Father's Day? They do a lot, too, you know," etc., etc.. So on Mother's Day, boys came into the chapel delivering chocolate on trays to the ladies (and nice chocolate, too; I'm sure some sugar-free, to satisfy the RS President-types, and all the ladies got to pick one. Maybe two. I hope it was two.). On Father's Day, the ladies also entered with trays - for the guys to choose one thing: a wrench set, a screwdriver, or a hammer. (Or something like that. Tools, anyway. And cheap tools at that.)
The vocal tribute. Another story from James. Their ward had some doosies this year. All the young men got up with a couple-minute long tribute. Since this post is already so long, I'll just give you the cream:
"I'm really grateful for my mom. I mean, even though she's had, like, more husbands than people in this room, she's still really great...and, uh, I really like the husband she's got now..."