Ever After
  • Archives
  • May9th

    For thirty years, I’ve had a big, scary monkey on my back.

    He hopped on when I was a Primary child playing “Families Can Be Together Forever” in sacrament meeting and has been my hairy, annoying, paralyzing companion ever since. Even though I knew the piece by heart and could play it with my eyes closed (literally), I made a mistake and was so mortified that I swore I’d never play in front of people again . . . especially NOT sacrament meeting!

    Thirty years later, I have been called to play piano in Primary. Playing for singing time each Sunday is a nerve-wracking experience, but I make it through by reminding myself that they are just sweet children who don’t really care if I make mistakes or not. But I knew that the time was fast approaching that I’d have to suck it up and play in sacrament meeting.

    Yesterday morning, I awoke and knew that the Monkey and I were about to have a showdown. By the end of the day, I would have broken the thirty-year silence and played “Mother I Love You” in sacrament meeting. It’s such a simple song, but the Monkey had a way of making even easy things go awry.

    Armed with a priesthood blessing and lots of personal prayer, I managed to make the long walk up to the piano at the appointed time.

    As I sat down on the bench, my heart raced.
    My hands shook.
    The monkey dug his sharp claws into my back and clung for dear life.

    But through the mercy of a loving Heavenly Father, I made it through without making an error.

    Be gone with you, you bad, bad, monkey!

  • May9th

    May I be honest with you?

    Historically, Mother’s Day is one of the worst days of the year for me.

    I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but Bryan doesn’t have a very good track record for celebrating me on the second Sunday of May each year.  Nothing says “I was too busy with my work and church responsibilities to give any thought to you” like grabbing the last sad spray of flowers from Target on his way home from a church meeting the night before.  But that was two years ago.

    Last year, he hid in the closet to scribble a little note on a card he dug out of one of his boxes of “treasures” (aka “junk).  The care and thought he put into the sentiments were obvious by the two colors of ink he had to use because, when you’re hiding in the closet trying to save your bacon on the morning of Mother’s Day, your writing implement options are limited.

    But my first Mother’s Day as Bryan’s wife and mother of his two-month-old firstborn was the absolute worst.  We were in Connecticut for a wedding, and I was suffering horribly with postpartum depression .  The closest he got to recognizing me on that Mother’s Day was when we were sitting in church and he realized what day it was.  He turned to me and said, “I haven’t wished you a Happy Mother’s Day yet, have I?”  No, he hadn’t.  And he never did that year.  That evening in the hotel room after everyone was asleep, I locked myself in the bathroom and flipped on the fan so no one could hear me sobbing.

    Even Bryan would tell you that I am not a high-maintenance wife.  I’m 100% fine with the fact that he’s never sent me flowers.  I try to tackle nearly all fix-it projects myself so that they don’t end up as “honey-do’s” for him.  And I would be horrified if he spent a large sum of money on me.

    And even though I don’t embrace the commercialization of the holiday, I do think that setting aside one eensy weensy day to honor Mothers is a fabulous idea.

    Pamper the woman who gave up a promising six-figure career to be a mother.  Whose body is stretched and saggy from three tough pregnancies.  Who can recite Tumble Bumble from memory (“A tiny bug went for a walk, he met a cat and stopped to talk …”) but doesn’t have a clue about current events.

    I am a mother, and I am grateful for that privilege.   I have three wonderful children who I’d give my life for, which is far more important to me than six-figures, my saggy figure, or my inability to figure out what’s going on in the world. But there are 365 days in a year, and I’m only asking for my husband and children to pamper me for one day (and I’d be happy with only 12 hours of that day)! Is that such a hard thing?

    Well, who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks?  I was so proud of Bryan this year when he really did Mother’s Day up right.

    He started the day by presenting me with a thoughtful letter (penned in one color of ink) and a page from an old journal he had kept.  Over the many years that he anticipated the appearance of Mrs. Right in his life, he had jotted down ideas of the kind of husband and father he wanted to be and of fun date ideas he wanted to do with his wife.  The page is a reminder to me of the amazing miracle our marriage was (and is).  Bryan waited so patiently for me, and as he waited, he was preparing himself to be my Mr. Wonderful.  As part of my Mother’s Day gift, BT promises to implement 20 of the date ideas over the next year.  I’m a little curious about what he means by “Fonude,” but I’m guessing that it’s a typo for “Fondue!” 🙂

    He also served me a yummy fruit/yogurt/granola parfait for breakfast and prepared my favorite roasted vegetables for dinner.  He even did the dishes and cleaned up after himself!

    I love you, BT!  Thanks for making this year’s Mother’s Day absolutely perfect.