Friday, November 28, 2008

A Near Perfect Day to Begin the Season

My mom is the best and I don't do enough for her. She will be 75 this year and is still working so hard. There are a million pine needles laying around her house in Forest Lakes that need to be raked up so she can have peace of mind come summer time and the fires are a blazin'. Every year I intend to go up and help her but never seem to make the time. This year I decided to enlist some help and asked Crystal if I could take her 2 oldest kids with me, thinking that they would help Kyra to work a little bit. Well, to my surprise, the whole Lee family asked to come up for the day. Of course you can come, silly people, the more the merrier. Then I told my mom. My mom, the worrier. My mom, the worrier, that watches the news and the weather reports and drives me insane with her constant obsession with what could happen on the roads when there is anything other than a sunny day.

Fast forward a week and we make it to this Friday...

Bless the Lee's for taking Tasha in their van for the drive up to Forest Lakes! What a delightfully argument-free road trip that was. I can even deal with sitting in the back seat while Cyrena was carsick because I did not have to listen to the smallest little bit of whining from either of my children. Aah, sweet peace, even sweeter with the addition of a wonderful Christmas CD that Crystal gave me right before we left. Gotta love me a little Harry Conick Jr. Yes, yes.

But the biggest surprise of all was SNOW!!! There was snow on the ground at my mom's house. Not just any snow either. Snow that could be rolled into a giant snowball to form a snowman. Snow that could be packed together to build the wall of a fort. Snow that made the best snowballs that I have ever thrown. It was perfect 35ish degree weather, the sun was shining, and we had great friends with us to deflect some of the arguing that would have undoubtedly ensued had they not been there. The kids built a snowman first thing, but then sacrificed it to build their wall larger. We launched snowballs at each other throughout the day and the kids didn't do too much whining about being hit. The adults had to be careful with our aim, so it was probably good that it didn't get too competive. They then sacrificed their wall for the sheer fun of destroying it. Silly kids that never see snow! We had lots of wet clothes, used the dryer a few times, and they enjoyed some hot cocoa to warm their little bodies. I was sweating just watching Cyrena drink her hot drink, inside, with her coat still on. My mom got to play with Brandon a little bit and witnessed Tasha's absolute obsession with that little boy. She also learned that Ethan just really wasn't going to respond when you call him Nathan.

We had some lunch, played some cards, raked some pine needles, put up my mom's Christmas tree, played some bananagrams, ate some dinner, and did a lot of laughing. If you know me, and like me, you like my mom. I learned to laugh from my mom. Not only do we appreciate a good joke or a funny situation, we both know how to laugh at ourselves and things that others might be offended by. Things like "oxygen day". Wednesday at Fry's is what Crystal has named "oxygen day" because they give a discount to senior citizens and all the old farts are wheeling around with their oxygen tanks in tow. Now I know my mom, and I know that she would appreciate this new term, but the Lee's don't know her as well. I don't know how the subject came up, or who said the term first, but it was out there and they went immediately into defensive mode trying to make it sound a little less anti-old people. Again I say it, my mom is the best. She thought it was a riot and there was no tension whatsoever.

I forgot how much time my mom spent coming to our ward last spring after she had foot surgery. She knew Crystal as my "short, dark-haired friend" from Relief Society and said she always appreciated her comments during the lessons. (The "short" is in reference to her hair and comes with a hand motion above the ear because my mom can't talk without her hands.) She also knew Jared and was used to seeing him on the stand with the bishopric. My mom said she enjoyed talking with Jared and was surprised that they knew some of the same people from the same small little town. The funniest part though was when she said he was such a "typical man". This has to do with the putting up of the Christmas tree. I was busy with Tasha so I didn't see or hear the whole thing. All I know is my mom told Bill and Jared how the 3 piece tree was supposed to go together, they didn't listen and did it their own way, then they took it apart and reassembled it the same way my mom said it needed to be done. Typical men.

All the kids did really well most of the day. Tasha had a moment when Derek and Ethan were playing together and she felt left out, but I think hunger was taking over then. Cyrena was a bit sad when all the kids went inside and she wasn't done in the snow. Ethan and Tasha annoyed their mothers as we tried to help them play a game that was way over their heads. The real meltdown came when it was time to leave. We were making seating arrangements in the vans and Tasha just lost it! I don't know how Ethan and Derek faired through the final decision (each family rides in their own van) because I was inside with Tasha screaming and running at the door as I deflected her little 30 pound body back into the living area. All I know for sure is that had I not just spent the whole day with Crystal I would not have handled the situation nearly as well. She has this calming influence on me that allows me to let things roll off and act more like an adult. There would have been a lot of yelling (on my part) and crying (from both kids) and my mom would have been devastated as we left with 2 screaming children. As it turns out, I never lost it, both my kids calmed down, we found an amicable solution for everyone, and were all able to hug and kiss my mom before we left. When I called her later she didn't even mention the incident, so I know she isn't dwelling on it.

So, for all her worrying and fretting over icey, snowy roads, my mom is just going to have to live with the fact that we had a safe trip and no harm came to any of us. I'm sure to use it against her in the future. We'll laugh about it, and she'll keep on worrying. Worrying is one thing that I did not inherit from my mom, and it drives her crazy! You're the best, mom, and Bill agrees. He said it a few times today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK I read your blog but being a member of the Oxygen generation I don't know how to make a copy for my memory book without copying all your blogs. Those of us in Oxygen years are not very swift on these modern things. It's ok Crystal, I thought it was hilarious. My dad would have also. Even tho he used a cane and had a hard time standing in lines he used that as an excuse to "buck the line" and he became really iritated at others who used their age to get preferential treatment. I believe he may have used his cane on them:)
As for the kids enjoying the snow I believe it was a big kid named Jared who made the snowman.
Bless you Crystal if you have such a calming effect on my daughter.
I am glad to hear you no longer eat chocolate Helena as I made my first batch of Christmas fudge today so I have one less to make for. I love you for all you have been, all you are and all you will be. You are special but then I guess Mothers are partial.