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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

One of the Many Joys of Parenting

A Big Day
One of the very first things Ria said this morning was, "I'm so excited, I'm going to have my first talk in aaaaallll my life!" If this statement is a little confusing, that's okay. I didn't really mention it before. Since I'm the Primary Secretary I assign the talks that the children do each Sunday as part of sharing time. The lists are already made up, I just ask them to talk and give them a reminder slip of paper. Well, I knew Ria would LOVE to be asked in front of everyone and receive her very own slip of paper, but we missed church last week due to Daddy and Ria being super ill. So, I asked her at home and skipped the reminder slip. She was THRILLED! She did, of course, say she would love to give a talk in Primary.

Subsequently, she asked to work on preparing her talk on Monday. I was very pleased and excited about it, myself, but because of what I was doing I couldn't get to it that moment. Due to the situation in my head (memory lapses and losses), I didn't remember it that day and each time Ria asked to do it after that there was a great deal going on. I also really wanted to sit down as a family to talk about it because I was just sure Jess would have a really great perspective to offer - or help - or something. So, that made it easy for me to keep putting it off.

We finally had some time together as a family yesterday morning. So, we all got together and I told Ria the subject for the talk (how the temple blesses her family) and she thought about it. Jess actually asked almost all of the follow-up questions that helped to get further details and information for the talk. Ria did a really wonderful job! We used only what she said (with a couple of minor grammar corrections), though I did reorder some of what she told us she wanted to say so that like subjects were together rather than a random thought here, another one, and then back to the first. Jess and I were really pleased with what she offered and asked her to practice once for us. She was reticent, which seemed odd. But she did practice and I'm super glad she did. Her only two trouble words were "heavenly" and "picnics" and as a result of the practice she did NOT have a problem at all when she read those words for her talk!!

Last night and this morning Ria iterated and reiterated MANY times her desire for the time she would give the talk. She let us know that she wanted Daddy, Kat, and Mama to be present during the time she gave her talk. I tried to talk her out of wanting Kat there, but she was firmly determined that Kathryn should attend Sharing Time just for her talk! I was worried about this because Kat's transition to Nursery has been slightly bumpy as of late and I didn't want her to have to go through two drop offs! This was a non-issue as it turned out because Jess stayed with Kat in nursery after Ria's talk anyway. Joey Parsons, a good friend AND our Home Teacher, is one of the nursery workers. Jess admitted that he stayed to talk with him since he was really late for the last meeting anyway. ;)

Ria practiced her talk again this morning and did really well. She was so excited! In Sharing Time, after she was announced, she seemed slightly disoriented. Saturday, after we finished working on the talk, I asked Ria if she wanted Mama or Daddy to be up front with her to help her or not. She's answered very decisively that she would be just fine on her own. As I watched her in what seemed to me to be a bit of disorientation, I was worried that I'd made the wrong decision in allowing her to do it all on her own. Our wonderful President and Counselor were right there and guided her to the podium. As I reflect now, I think Ria was just worried about where the paper for her talk was (it was already on the podium). As soon as she was standing in place and had the talk in front of her, she was completely at ease and went right on with the show as if she was born to stand in front of people!

Because we are so pleased and excited, I'm going to share/transcribe the whole talk with/for you. I hope you will recognize this as an act by an adoring Mother feeling overflowing with joy in her child's performance (which this is), rather than anything else it might seem to be. :)

Ria's First Talk

"The temple is a blessing for me and my family. It is Jesus's house that some workers' made. It is a place where we pray. And Heavenly Father talks to us there and at church."

"My family and I go to the temple when it's a Saturday. The temple is a place of joy and beauty where we go as a a family. We are happy there with Daddy and the whole family. And we have picnics there and play."

"I like to see Moroni on top of the temple. I love Moroni. I would like to talk to him."

"I feel happy at the temple. When I go inside, I feel happy and grateful to Heavenly Father for making such a wonderful place."

"The temple is a blessing for me and my family because we go there. And pray."

She read it all on her own, of course. Due to the way that the words fell in the layout on the page, Ria actually forgot to read/skipped the words "wonderful place" in the second to last paragraph. But it still worked and made sense. The adults present were super impressed and she received numerous compliments about how well she did and how amazingly well she read. She took it ALL in stride and smiled and said Thank You to each one.

We are so pleased.

A funny bit of something...
After Ria finished her talk and sat down, Kat just had to go up to her. (Or so Jess thought.) So, he let her go. Kat didn't go up to Ria at all. She went straight up to the podium and climbed the little steps! She was up there before anyone could get to her. She was helped down and Jess took her back to Nursery. We thought it was so totally cute and funny, though. It's VERY like Kitty Kat, of course. Ria is her "almost everything," I would say. And I'm sure I'm not stretching the truth a bit. Jess and Ria together would probably qualify as Kat's "EVERYthing!" ^_^ But the point is that from Kathryn's perspective: If Ria does it, it MUST be worth doing! So, if it's worth doing, Kat just HAS to have something to do WITH it!!! :) Our second daugher is easily "Copy Kat!!" (heeheehee) This is usually a wonderful thing, in my opinion. Of course, Ria isn't perfect (as if there ever was such a child!), so there are some things she does that I do not like or want Kathryn to emulate. Ria and I have regular talks throughout the day about the importance of her example to Kat, WHY it is important, how her choices matter, why she needs to think about the things she does, and so forth. But, overall, Ria is an amazing big sister and wonderful example. I couldn't have planned a better leader/example for our family's children if asked to draw up a model myself! I'm so glad it was Heavenly Father's gig, not mine! ^_^

A Bit About Mama
Since I was sick two weeks ago and Jess was SUPER sick this last Sunday, I missed two Sundays in a row. I think my absence combined with the rapid growth in girth of my belly resulted in the comments today, but I'm pleased anyway. So, I received wonderful compliments from the moment we arrived at church this morning. It's so wonderful, too, since I was feeling a bit frumpy and uncomfy. My sweet and generous Relief Society President said, "My aren't we looking radiant!?" Later on, as I was talking with my Primary President, she made mention that I looked like I was thinner. When I explained that I probably was, she went on to gush about my appearance and how odd it is that I'm thinner and pregnant, but cool. (That, of course, felt really nice!) At the end of church I stopped in to talk with a couple sisters in the Relief Society room. One of them, Sister Crunkleton, has been Ria's teacher in Sunbeams for the last few Sundays and she was raving to me about Ria's talk and her reading ability. Then she and the other sister went on to talk about my big belly and how I looked thinner and how wonderful I looked. So, that really felt awesome, too! :)

As a rule, I don't feel AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL all the time when I'm preggie, but I do feel a bit more "normal" perhaps. Not normal for me, certainly. But I think when I'm preggie (except for the exhaustion part) I actually tend to move more toward how most women feel MOST of the time. Strange? But true! Don't get me wrong. There are times when the hormones are decidedly apparent and Jess has been caught (this pregnancy specifically) to say in exasperation, "Man! You're pregnant!" as a result of some over emotional reaction to something or other.

I don't really ask Jess much at all about his progress toward becoming a non-smoker. Mostly I don't ask because I don't want him to feel that I'm weighing my acceptance of him on this decision/accomplishment. The last time I asked about the lozenges, he was down to maybe one a day. I figure he'll tell me when he's done with them or I'll eventually ask and he'll tell me then. I honestly gave up caring, in a controlling manner, whether he was a smoker or not before he quit smoking, so I don't want to backtrack into making it a huge issue. Today Brother Crookston, who reminds me of my Dad in a way and who happens to be the guy we're planning to ask to bless the new baby, asked Jess for an update. Jess told him, immediately, that he was still not smoking. This pleased me greatly, of course. And I just wanted to rave about him and his accomplishment for a moment here.

Since Jess has stopped smoking he has been nasty two times. Did you see that? Well, perhaps it will be more impressive yet when I remind you that he has now been a non-smoker for MORE than TWO MONTHS!!!!! I really can't beat that. I mean, being nasty once a month is rather normal for any mortal - much less someone tackling a life habit like smoking.

Jess has talked to me a couple times about how he's been having weird cravings for smokes (like recently he just wanted to BUY them, nothing about smoking really, just wanted the act of purchasing them). Thus far each time he shares an experience such as that with me, it really doesn't seem strange to me at all. Perhaps my "normal" take about what he perceives as odd cravings is related to my issues (the current foci) I'm really striving to change right now (over-eating, exercise, and anger being a few). I think the anger, especially, is an addiction similar in scope and parameters to smoking. I haven't done the research to prove it to myself, but some few things I've learned about the effects of anger on the body (chemically) and the habit of it are both very similar to respective aspects of smoking.

Today Jess told me about a smoking dream and his related guilt. I TOTALLY get that! Let me tell you. When preggie I have these horrible (guiltily wonderful?) dreams about guys from my past. Thus far every first trimester has brought these dreams and the resultant guilt is extreme. So, I could totally relate to Jess on his issue! But I reminded him of something he often tells me when I cry to him about a bad dream, "It's okay, you didn't really do it! And I know you wouldn't do it." or something equally wonderful. Of course, because of my beliefs AND some experience, I actually REALLY believe - even KNOW - that dreams can be a LOT more than just imaged floating around my head while my body remains immobile. But, it's still comforting, the things he says. So, I reminded him of them and hope that he felt some comfort, too. I ALSO added a perspective that I really believe. It could well be that the stogies he dreamed about represent something in his life that is GOOD and that the act of smoking them in his dream, while bad if it were to be directly translated and acted upon in daily life, could really be wonderful or awesome if he were to correctly translate the symbolic meaning and act on it in his life! ^_^

Just to reiterate because I've had TONS of digression and commentary: I am so super pleased and impressed with my hubbie! He's close to THREE months of being a non-smoker and really close to being done with the chemical assistance he's used to rid himself of the smoking habit. He has continued to work two jobs through all of it AND her has NOT turned into a horrible mean cantankerous jerk like lots of "quitters" become while working toward becoming non-smokers. I'm proud of him!!! I hope this is not an evil sort of pride. But "pleased" just isn't a strong enough word to describe my joy and pleasure in his accomplishment. He is a really GOOD guy!

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