Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley

I told Carden and Seth today that President Hinckley had passed away. We listened to the radio together and heard some of the reports and memories of him shared by local residents and prominent Utahns. It felt like a statewide testimony meeting, with breaks for traffic and weather reports. But so touching to hear so many people share wonderful memories of his life.

I've spent the last 2 days collating Family Home Evening kits based on his book Standing for Something for our ward Enrichment night; it's great to pay him tribute by teaching our kids the wonderful attributes he taught and lived.

Tonight at bedtime prayers, Carden prayed, "Thank you that President Hinckley died, and thank you that we get to have a new prophet." He doesn't quite get the "please bless us" part, so every phrase is prefaced with "thank you that..." But in this case, I think he's right. Thank you that President Hinckley gets to be with his wife again. Thank you that he gets to rest. Thank you that he gets to know he offered everything he was and had to this work. Now if only the rest of us could do so well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Dangerous Book of Boys

Carden and Seth received The Dangerous Book of Boys for Christmas from Joel & Mandi. Most of the subject matter is a bit beyond their ken right now, but somehow this book has mythic status in their little male minds. Tyler has them convinced that the survival of their gender depends on never letting a girl see what's in it. They go to elaborate lengths to hide the book so I can't read it. Every time I find it I make a big production out of reading aloud some secret information. They scream, they snatch it from my fingers, they find a new hiding place. Disaster averted.

I meant a normal smile

My sister-in-law has four darling girls. She sends pictures of her darling girls wearing darling dresses, doing darling things--like smiling at the camera. Not scrunching up their faces, grimacing, baring their teeth, or other imitations of smiling. I look at those pictures and I covet. No amount of bribery, threats, or other forms of motivation seem to work on my offspring.

The child who reads

Within the small social heirarchy that is Mrs. C's afternoon kindergarten class, I have discovered that I am the parent of "the child who reads." Not just the child who reads, but the child who reads Chapter Books in kindergarten. At Parent Literacy Night, the teacher pointed me out to the other parents as the mom of Carden, who reads at least 12 levels beyond anyone else in his class. At a parent reading volunteer meeting she announced to everyone that all the kids are supposed to point to the words as they read them, "except for Carden since he's so far ahead." A dad of one of the other kids in the class sat behind me at a basketball game and pointed to Carden reading a chapter book and said to his son, "you need to be reading books like that."

The funny thing about all this that I want to crawl under the rug, or make Carden put away his books when others are watching. Magic Treehouse contraband. I have to stop myself from responding to his teacher's compliments with, "yeah, but isn't his handwriting terrible?!" to try and even the score.

Of course as a parent you're proud of your kids and you want them to do well, but I'm perplexed why I'm embarassed by his success. Fear of making the other kids feel bad? Fear of being a show-off? Fear of being the annoying parent who brags about her child's exceptional skills? Have to think about this one some more.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Christmas 2007 highlights

Decorating gingerbread houes with Sekiguchi-san, Dad's co-worker who was visiting from Japan. He also came with us to our ward Christmas party. In the parking lot I hissed under my breath to Tyler that you can't spring a Mormon Ward Christmas party on an unsuspecting victim without preparing him. His response: "Sekiguchi-san, there will be many, many children here. They will run around and be crazy. It will be very loud. Sort of like Japanese Karaoke, but with no beer."

We had a few tough moments remembering who is the giver and who is the recipient. This is the continuation of the meltdown we had while in the toy aisle at Target doing our shopping. They were delighted to pick out presents for each other. Not so delighted when they didn't get to pick out a toy for themselves.

Charlotte in between bites of wrapping paper. Tyler was appalled and horrified that I wrapped up some of the old baby toys from the boys and regifted them to her. I was appalled and horrified that he went out and bought the last thing we need--more baby toys.

No Santa trauma this year, hurray! And they let the younger siblings come to the elementary and visit the Santa who came to the school. So no trip to the mall Santa, double hurray!

Charlotte, our jungle queen. She got a leopard-print blanket from one grandma and a leopard-print jacket from the other grandma, plus a striped tiger stuffed animal that she flirts with.