Thursday, April 24, 2008

A cookout out back

My hearty and hale 11 year-old painstakingly dug a beautiful fire pit in the back yard. He lined it with a piece of steel, and ringed it with rocks. Then he begged. And begged. He HAD to have some sort of meat to roast over that fire pit. My oldest got into the act pleading to be able to light a fire. Somewhere. Anywhere. He couldn't understand why I insisted that his dad be home for that. (I think it had something to do with first and last time I asked him to burn something. I gave him some canceled checks, and expected him to just ignite them with a lighter and let them burn on the cement. No, he built a huge bonfire with wood on my neighbor's sidewalk in front of the entire neighborhood. I'm surprised the police didn't show up.) Then I had this flash of inspiration: why not buy some hot dogs and make both their dreams come true? Daddy beefed up the pit with some huge rocks, then we roasted some hot dogs, made s'mores, and got fragrantly smoky. As I've looked at the photos, I've discovered a hidden theme. Guesses, anyone?Just look at me, pigging out like that.
It's disgusting, really.

Come on, Earlgirl. The whole bar?

Now I'm after the baby's food! It's an outrage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The other day, I cried.

I hardly ever cry. Ever. Maybe twice a year. But the other day, I did. See, my sister was getting ready to have a baby, and my Mom was anxiously awaiting the summons. As soon as one of us is in labor, my mom packs up, and camps out at our house. She takes care of everything, and sleeps in the baby's room. When the baby wakes up, she rocks and sings to him (in my case) soothing him as long as she can to give us as much sleep as possible. She plays with the kids, cleans the house, cooks, and we talk and laugh. It's just an indescribably precious time. Here's a picture she took when we were hanging out on the nursery floor.
The other day, it hit me really hard that I won't have a daughter to do that for. Sure, if I'm not obnoxious, and they really like me, I'll have daughters in law to help, but they won't be my flesh and blood. I'll be there by special privilege, and not by right.
Don't get me wrong, I'm usually glad I have all boys. Frequently, when I see someone with their daughter, I'm thinking "There but for the grace of God..." I'm not mourning the fights over clothes, and hair, the whole deal with bras and periods, not that. It's those big monumental moments that I've seen my mom do for us. That's what I mourn.
As I was drying my tears and wiping my nose, I realized that it isn't so much an issue of not having a daughter. This is a universal fact of life. Everyone has dreams that won't happen in their lives- things that we were hoping for that we won't ever do. This life isn't about wish fulfillment, it's about recognizing and glorying in what we have. Some of the most powerful growth experiences are getting over the dreams that will never come true.
That being said, my sister had her baby. Mom was there, on the scene. I live in town with my parents, the only local one of my siblings. Our Dad was in a serious accident a few years ago. His truck rolled 7 times, and he's a walking miracle. He has a lot of cognitive and vision problems though. He can work in the temple, and love on the kids, but he can't read, drive, or do a lot of things we take for granted. The day my sister had her baby, my Dad was diagnosed with an ulcer on his cornea. It's serious business, requiring almost constant care. He'll be hanging out with me, unless he's home sleeping, while my Mom's gone. It hit me this morning, that I may not have a daughter to take care of, but I'm making sure my Mom can. I'm kind of doing it by proxy. That's a gift.

Monday, April 21, 2008


This story is so gripping, I just can't look away. It's such a mess, and I can't untangle it all in my mind. I've been digging deeper and deeper into research on their culture and beliefs. I keep coming to the dinner table every day with some interesting or disturbing fact that I've learned about their lifestyle, or the way the case is progressing. I can't come to a definite conclusion. Aspects of their religion are so disturbing, and very illegal, yet you balance that with what appears to be a clean, simple, wholesome life. I see the mothers' anguish, and I hurt for them. They are living the only life they know, and seem to be happy in it. Does anyone out there have the wisdom of Solomon to sort this all out? What would you do if you were in charge?