There are all these lovely pictures just sitting on my cell phone – taking up space and wishing I’d come up with some thoughtful or clever blog post wherein they might find a more permanent home.
But I am kind of feeling like . . . I might just put them here in a very ordinary-ish manner wherein I say something rather simply about them. Or I don’t. As the mood strikes me.
Like . . . for example: shoe shopping. There aren’t any pictures of any shoes mind you. In a rather bold move, Mike and I took EVERYONE to the Salomon outlet in downtown Ogden during a sale to search for good shoes for a few of us in need. (We’ve found some exceptionally lucky deals on various things there over the years – including Abe’s red jacket that he has long adored and is near to fully outgrowing. [Why can’t we find a similar one on sale again??]) In any case, it got a bit wild (as you might imagine) with everyone crammed in the somewhat small store; so I wandered around outside pushing Mette in her stroller and letting the other four young ones run around and mess with things that shouldn’t be messed with (like the little thing that talks and hands you a ticket as you pull into a parking garage). In the end, most kids were grumpy and/or crying and I had to change two smelly diapers on the grass by a sidewalk (yeesh), BUT, these three humored me with a few pictures by cool old walls, and we ended up leaving with some pretty great shoes for Penny and Goldie as well as TWO pair of trail shoes for me (I haven’t had new running shoes in years [and I could talk about THAT for a long time – all the various nonsense I’ve tried with shoes in hopes of solving my various foot problems] and these were just too good of a deal to pass up).
Well. This isn’t turning out so badly. I was afraid it would be boring. But all that shoe business (once you throw in a sprinkling of dirty diapers and two pair of running shoes for just one person)? It’s perfectly interesting!
So. What else?
Oh! Little man! I’ve been a tad worried about things. Not for any concrete reason. Just . . . I don’t know . . . I’m old, maybe part of the reason I needed such powerful experiences telling me this boy was ours was so I would know he was meant to be here even if he came with a host of disabilities, etc. Just typical over-thinking. But, while I was busily coming up with these possible scenarios, this little soul just shook his head, paid me no mind, and went about developing perfectly. (In fact I’ve never had an ultrasonographer shower such praises. Why, she hadn’t had an ultrasound this perfect in weeks! If all my babies looked this great, no wonder I had so many! If only all her ultrasounds could look like this! Etc. Etc.) In truth, I’ve felt great peace that even if this child had major difficulties, it would all be fine, but I did feel uncharacteristically emotional during this ultrasound. Just . . . him . . . becoming whoever it is he is destined to become. And maybe something about us. Mike and I. And this child. And all our other kids. Actually being at this point – having almost brought him here despite that darned veil and all my forgettings. (Also . . . jam. Yes that is a bottle of jam. Peach to be exact. My sister Amy has been so nice to tend for my doctor appointments this pregnancy. Anders begs to go to her house and we often come home with all sorts of extras – little treats for the kids; a silly, small toy that couldn’t be parted with; garden produce; and, on this occasion, jam that she made from the peach trees my dad planted several years ago in my parents’ front yard. We grew up eating peaches and apricots from our backyard trees, but they don’t produce much any more, and I hadn’t realized these front trees were doing much themselves!)
Next up: going to the Salt Lake temple for my nephew Nik’s wedding, stopping at the duck pond with Summer and Anders (and Mette) while waiting for kids at the orthodontist, Jesse making himself into a robot (cyborg maybe?), little kids waiting outside the Brigham City temple for their older siblings, me holding three babies (Summer thinks it’s only two – “two babies!” that’s what she happily shouts whenever she wants me to hold her and Mette at the same time; but there’s that third one too . . .), and, . . . Anders wearing a Spider Man costume for days . . . and days and days.
Also, my dad really loved hummingbirds. (Loved? Loves. I’m sure he still loves them.) Funny how we get fascinating by certain things. (For example, I really like swallows. Something about their v-shaped tails and the way they zip and zag when they fly and the remembrance of seeing them on a road I used to run along in Washington with fence posts each topped with a small bird house.) Anyway, my dad felt that way about hummingbirds. I often recall him telling me interesting facts about them, and hummingbirds even star in his novel Starfire. My sisters and I have been almost laughing about all our hummingbird sightings since his passing. I’m sure, partially, we’ve just been looking more, but it’s almost become funny (for example my sister recently sent us a picture of a car she was driving past on the freeway as she came down from Idaho for a visit one day – it was a cleaning service, but next to the name in the car window was an image of a tiny hummingbird).
Anyway, a kind friend sent me a necklace with a hummingbird on it recently. And then my little sister just sent each of us sisters a picture she painted of one along with another little necklace. All such lovely, happy things.
Somewhat related is this little blush case. It belonged to my dad’s mother (my grandma Pearl). All of my life it sat on one of my dad’s bookshelves in his upstairs office at our house. When I was young I would very often unclasp and open it to examine the traces of leftover rouge behind the small mirror, and to look for the tiny secret picture of my grandpa Thatcher that my grandma kept hidden inside the blush pad. Inevitably my dad would pause his typing or grading of college papers to look at it with me and to tell me he was keeping it safe for me to have some day. Still, even though I always knew it was mine, I couldn’t ever quite bear to take it from its spot in my dad’s office – even when I was married and had a house of my own. On the day he passed away I found myself alone up in his office however. And, while there wasn’t any grand ceremony about it all, it felt like the right time to take it down from that shelf and bring it to my home. It now sits on the mantel above our fireplace where my own kids can occasionally take it down to admire. Something about it seems to signify tied generations and relationships that the veil can’t and won’t take from us.
Moving right along: Abe joined the mountain biking team at our local high school this year. I love that there are so many things these days where kids can find a nitch or a way to be involved with something they enjoy. Mountain biking can prove pretty expensive, but Mike’s cousin Devin passed on his old bike (a very nice one) to Abe several years ago, so he was pretty much all set to go. His first race was this past weekend. He came home more muddy than he has maybe ever been. The pictures don’t do it justice, and we washed his fancy-pants new jersey about 50 times in an effort to get the mud spots off of the white parts.
Also, a friend gave us tickets to the women’s session of General Conference. It was so fun to leave with my three older girls and head off to Salt Lake to watch it in the beautiful conference center. It is such a wild things seeing things cycle about. I love so much doing things with my mom and sisters, and it just felt amazing and slightly impossible that evening that I could be here – doing things with my own daughters now with ME as the mom and THEM as the sisters. On the way home they were talking about how hard it was to imagine that someday they would be doing that same thing with their own daughters. But . . . I knew they would. They would be in this spot marvelling over how it all happened just like I was that night.
And last – Anders sticking his head in one of those wooden cutout things (because it you see them, and you are a kid, well, you must [I’ve learned]) when we stopped at a local stand to buy cornstalks to decorate our front porch last week. And Jesse and Anders – who recently had this conversation:
Jesse: Mom, is Anders allergic to anything?
Anders: I’m not allergic to anything, but bears can destroy me. They’re the only thing that can destroy me.
We all have our kryptonite or achilles heel I suppose.