Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Volume X, issue v, May 2014

When the youngest of my first-born boys turned twelve, I was launched into a new phase for our trio. The first Sunday in May, Caleb was ordained to be a Deacon by Eric, which means that I am surrounded by Priesthood holders in my home. Some women love holding bouquets of flowers. I'd rather hold a bouquet of boys. Some women want their boys to be tough and strong. I want mine to be sensitive and strengthening, even if it means they're not the most visible ones in the school hallways. My boys are quiet and sometimes even awkward and I love the hesitancy that registers in their faces when they interact with others because it means that they are weighing options rather than just social acceptance.

As I watched Caleb pass the sacrament for the first time this month with such deliberate care laced with just a trace of anxiety, I had flashbacks to those moments when I could easily wrap my arms around that Sweet Three when they were all three and under. Three boys, all in diapers, all in my arms, all sent in rapidly asked-for succession, all granting wishes that had been on my lips for years of yearning. Thoughts of that little band of three accompanied me as I watched Caleb, now so tall and straight,  pass the bread and the water for the first time.

Three Cheers for Charlie
This guy's chubby swagger and cheerful charm make at least a little part of each day easy to enjoy. He inhales more than his fair share of cookies ( a lot more) and he is absurdly spoiled by his eight live-in babysitters/playmates/servants, but our curly-haired Little Prince has "tamed" us and is "unique in all the world." 

C is for Cookie and for Charlie and (at least for his birthday dinner) for Pizza (with c-shaped pepperoni).

The Fairest of Them All
By the time you arrive at the month of your fourth fourth grade science fair you've probably learned that the event has less to do with science than it does advertising. You've learned that rather than being based on the scientific method, it is based on the party-planning method. You know that you don't need solid evidence as much as you need a solid theme and color scheme. I can do that. 

For Eve's science fair project, she wanted to make flowers turn a whole rainbow of colors by letting them soak luxuriously in food coloring for a few days. We turned the whole thing into a multi-colored affair, complete with a logo and a motto and even bowlfuls of rainbow-colored candy to insure that she wouldn't meet the same woeful fate as Caleb did when a chipper young visitor at his fourth grade fair whined that his project was "boring." It still makes him sting in an oddly scientific way. 

When Eve trundled in with all of her science fair paraphernalia in tow, clinking with every step as she lugged the heavy vases into the house, she told me she had been saying the name of the flower incorrectly all morning until one of the visiting moms corrected her. I asked her what she had been saying instead of carnation and she said, "Kardashian." 

That one word made all of the many hours spent on this project worth it. I couldn't stop giggling and snorting as I called Eric and told him about it, so he had to tell me to breathe and slow down so he could understand what I was saying. 

One More Eve-Related Tale
Eve was reporting the scandalous fact that her teacher defined "skinny dipping" in class. She raised her eyebrows at me, so I said most parents wouldn't be offended by that unless they were super protective. She said, "Yeah. . . if that's how they coop their chickens!"

Elementary, My Dear 12-year-Old
We had Caleb's Sherlock birthday party the first weekend of May. Planning the party with him reminded me how irresistibly clever and cute he is. Our shy boy has been mysteriously transformed into quite a social creature when he is with his best friends and I love watching other people become clued-in to his quiet wit. 

We painted t-shirts, played "Sherlock's Smiley Face Shoot-Out," had a Mystery Dinner, and watched Young Sherlock Holmes (mostly because I have always wanted to eat some googly-eyed cream-puffs). A lot of the party was based on the BBC's interpretation of Sherlock, but we threw in a few traditional allusions as well. 

Mother's Day 2014
 Post husband-created dinner, post present-shower, love-enveloping group-hug with a spoiled mother squashed in the middle. 
The kids presented me with a variety of tear-inducing gifts and cards and Holden even composed a sonnet for me. Ethan told me, "I know how much you like infinity scarves, so I crocheted you one. . . for your WRIST!" I told Eric that I felt like Jimmy Mcenroe and he said, "You are so OLD! Don't you know any recent tennis players?" I said, "Bjorn Borg?" 


Hailey Christensen said...

I hope it's not creepy that I always read your blog since I was one of your students. Your family is just so cute I cannot help myself. I love your little stories! :)

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh my goodness. What a read. I loved the thoughts on your boys (and how you'd rather have a bouquet of little boys than roses), and you pegged the science fair. Exactly. The Carnation-Kardashian switch at the end could not have provided a better clinch for the story if you'd invented it.

Thank you for developing your writing talent and sharing it with the rest of us.

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