Monday, May 15, 2006

My Mom Is Better than Your Mom

From son #2, I received the following card, listing my traits:

My mom's name is Julie .

She is 50 years old and weighs 60 lbs.

She has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Her favorite food is tacos .

She likes to snuggle with me .

She doesn't like to go Lego shopping with me .

My favorite thing about her is that she's nice to me .

I love her because she reminds me to play violin .

Not exactly accurate, but still sweet.

From son #1 came the following talk, written by himself with a little bit of help from his dad, delivered in Sacrament Meeting:

Mother's Day Talk
May 14, 2006

Why did God create woman?
Because he looked at Adam and said: "Oh, I can do better than that!"

A few days ago I was asked by Brother H-- to give a talk about Mother's Day during Sacrament Meeting. Hey Mom? Do me a favor and try not to be too embarrassed...…

The theme of my talk today is how my mom and my grandmas have created an example of sacrifice and endurance for my brothers and me.

A few months ago my Mom got hooked on blogging. Blogging has now become almost a daily routine (note that I said almost). I have learned that you will be much better off to make sure to never disturb her as she writes her strange stories and comedies. Otherwise, you can usually expect her to behave like an angry cat. I think blogging has become her escape when the pressure of raising kids causes her to want to bring back the law of Moses and turn one of us into a burnt offering. I'm grateful that in this way my Mom is teaching me sacrifice and endurance.

After a long, long day of patiently helping and teaching me and my brothers, my Mom and Dad knelt together to say their evening prayers. Mom, being so tired from the efforts of the day, obviously wasn't thinking quite straight. She said, "We are grateful for the clothes that we have to eat and the food that we have to wear..." This story taught me that raising kids can be a demanding job but my Mom always does her best to remember to do what is most important.

Switching gears, let me tell you a little about my Grandma A-- when she was a kid. One day, the Relief Society decided to hold a meeting at her house. She was playing outside and caught a bucketful of mice. She thought they were so cute that she brought them inside to show to all the Relief Society ladies. Once inside, Grandma accidentally tripped and fell, spilling the bucket of mice everywhere. All the Relief Society ladies immediately jumped up onto their chairs and began screaming. The mice were scared from all the noise, so they all ran right back into the bucket. My grandma picked up the bucket, carried it back outside, and let the mice go free again. To this day, she still picks up snakes. Whenever she finds spiders in her house, rather than squishing them, she gingerly picks them up and carries them outside to set them free. This story has taught me to be kind even to things that some of us might find repulsive or scary (not that I mind snakes, but in my opinion spiders are totally evil).

My Grandma S-- has also left me with a legacy of sacrifice and service. Let me tell you two stories about her:

My Grandma and Grandpa S-- lived on a farm in Kansas. Grandpa always carried a rifle on his tractor to take care of the jack rabbits that would devour his crops. One day while driving over a particularly bumpy spot, the rifle accidentally went off. The bullet shot out straight towards his head. At the time, my dad had not been born yet and was still a twinkle in Grandma's eyes. My mom says that's why the bullet hit Grandpa in the teeth rather than killing him. I can just imagine my mom's spirit saying to my dad's, "O.K., you slow down the bullet and I'll wreck the aim!"

So, with blood streaming out of his mouth, Grandpa raced back to the house to get help. My Grandma S-- refused to take him to the hospital until she had a chance to put on some makeup. She always wanted to look her best.

Twenty five years later my Grandma S-- was cleaning up the basement in her house and found what she thought was an old board leaning up against the wall. She decided to vacuum behind it. The board was really a thick and very heavy piece of steel. So when she grabbed the top to move it, it's huge weight carried her hand and smashed it through a nearby wall. With several bones broken and blood streaming from her hand, she again refused to go to the hospital until she had a chance to put on makeup. Once again, she wanted to look her best despite the trying circumstances.

While living on the farm in Kansas, neither of my S-- grandparents were members of our church. One day the missionaries knocked on their door and gave them a Book of Mormon. My grandpa agreed to read it but only to prove that it was wrong. A few months later he was baptized into the church. So much for proving it wrong... My Grandma S-- had a harder time. You see, her dad was a Lutheran minister and the rest of her family were devoted Lutherans. Over time and through an experience that is too sacred to share now, my Grandma S-- came to know that the church was true. However, she was torn between honoring her parents and honoring her newly found beliefs. Eventually, she decided to get baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She found ways to still honor her parents while beginning a legacy of following truth that affects me even to this day.

Through their examples of sacrifice, endurance, and many other things, mothers play an important role in all of our lives. They always have, and they always will. Today is our chance to honor and respect mothers around the world. I know that despite anything, we should always love and respect our mothers. They deserve it. I bear witness to these things humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

You had to have been there to see him deliver it publicly. It was awesome!!! (And I'm not biased at all. You can ask Lorien, Dalene, and Melody.)

Happy Belated Mothers Day, everyone!!!


Melody said...

It was a masterpeice. Besides his brilliance in speech and writing, your son paused at appropriate intervals to make eye contact with the congregation, looking up from his PDA.

The best part, though, was the genuine love he expressed for you. He obviously knows that he needs you and he adores you.

bluepaul said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
compulsive writer said...

It was awesome. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

I will love forever that your mom let a bucketfull of mice out in a room full of Relief Society sisters.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Your son is something special Julie. That little piece of prose made me smile, laugh, tear up, and feel the Holy Spirit's inspiration behind it.

My 8 year old son has given many Primary talks and up until last year struggled with a speech impediment. He sounded like one of the gangsters from The Sopranos as he swaggered to the podium and in his low voice started with, "Heavenly FADA", thus ensuring the rapt attention of every one in the room. I half expected him to "Hey, How You DOOIN"? People always laughed and commented when he gave a talk because of the accent. It's as though he was born and raised in Brooklyn borough, instead of the offspring of a mid-Westerner and a Mexican born in Texas.

Your son had a lot of courage to compose that and address the entire Sacrament. Obviously the result of proper parenting. You done good, Julie! Happy belated Mother's Day.

~j. said...

What a fantastic talk and tribute. Thanks for sharing that with us all!

Julie said...

Thanks, everyone. It was a great talk. I have great kids.

Elastic: This same son spoke on Mother's Day about three years ago (also another classic talk). At the time, he also had a speech impediment--couldn't say his S's. So to hear him enunciate them properly now is great. I sometimes miss the lisping, but I don't miss the teasing he used to get from some of his cousins.

becks said...

his talk was amazing. i wish i could write something that well. next time i have to give a talk i'll go to your son for advice!

Elizabeth-W said...

I wish I'd been in your ward on Sunday! Our talks were by adolescents. They were ok--but no one was reading from a pda! Very, very sweet. In our ward, the big excitement is to see what kind of candy bar will be included in the envelope containing a talk in booklet form (this year the talk was All the Time You Need by Mary Ellen Edmunds--usually a talk from Women's Conference.
I'd rather hear more messages like your son's. I imagine you're feeling pretty fantastic!

Lesleigh said...

I am quite impressed with your son, Julie. That was a great talk! I wish I'd been there. I can just see him delivering it too. He's such an adult in a little kid's body.

I agree with becks...I'll be giving him a call next time I have to give a talk!

And just to let you know, everyone made me feel bad the other night for not posting. I didn't realize it has been since December! So I'll be posting soon. Maybe even this weekend.

Lessel Peeper said...

What do you mean you're not 50?!

Julie said...

Lessel: If I'm 50, that makes you 49. Neener, neener, neener. And frankly, I have a better body than you do.