Sunday, July 31, 2016

the day.

i fasted all that day.

i remember the night before he told all of his friends at cub scouts, "i wanted to be baptized tomorrow, but now i don't think i will."

i remember the blood rushing to my face in frustration. i wanted to shake him.
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not everyone will understand where i am coming from here and this puts me in a vulnerable spot to be this open, so bear with me.

you see, in our faith baptism is incredibly important. we believe that we are to be baptized in the same manner that Jesus Christ was baptized, by immersion and by someone who has been given authority from Heavenly Father.

we also believe in letting people choose for themselves whether or not they want to be baptized, never forcing it upon anyone. this is one reason that we do not baptize babies or children younger than the age of eight.
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so you will note in me a great character flaw. a beam in my eye. i have a hard time with my kids making their own choices when they choose something other than the Savior.

yet the Savior Himself, though He called, knew some wouldn't follow and allowed them their freedom of choice. in our faith we call this freedom the agency of mankind and our doctrine is in great favor of respecting choice with an understanding that we will all be accountable before God.
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accountable. that's another important word and another reason that we wait until age eight to permit baptism. we believe that little children are pure and innocent and that they need no baptism until they are old enough to be accountable for their actions. if a little child dies before they reach that age of accountability (which we believe is eight years old) they are received by our Heavenly Father as perfect individuals, without sin.

i couldn't possibly ever, i shouldn't ever admit that i've at my most desperate moments with ossi i thought it might be better if he was taken home young. when fear takes me, the fears of the dangers he's drawn to, the fears of the darkness in the world and in him... when i have given in to fear i have let that thought enter my mind. at my weakest i am so, so weak.
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so when he said that. when he said that he might not be baptized i wasn't surprised really, and i knew that i would never force him, ever. i was just a human and i got frustrated.

frustration was not Christlike behavior on my part which, incidentally, is where baptism is intended to lead. we make a covenant at baptism to follow Christ, to take His name upon us. i've made that promise, but wow, i'm so slow sometimes.
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so that night we told him that we'd only move forward with his baptism if he was absolutely sure and it was no problem to cancel or reschedule, but we needed to know his decision by the next morning. we encouraged him to pray and make his own choice.
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ossi is really an amazing boy. he isn't leaping tall buildings but i think what he's doing is harder than that, even. he is acquiring skills that do not come naturally at all. he is overcoming personal trauma. he is adjusting to new medication, discovering his identity, dealing with a diagnosis, and all this while facing the daily concerns of a child. all decisions, desires, discipline, growth, and guesswork.

some days he is alive in a love of God and all men. some days his world is only big enough for him.
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so we've done what we could to teach him what we believe God would have us teach. we offer that up and disconnect what our child chooses from our responsibility to bring him up in light and truth.

and we pray and fast and wait...
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i think it would have been okay if he had chosen not to be baptized but we're really glad he decided to make that covenant with the Lord.
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when we asked how he felt at the end of The Day he said, "very loved."

he said he didn't feel anything different or special when he was baptized, it felt just like a swimming pool. he was a little disappointed about that. he also said he didn't really feel God and that was a bummer, but he felt like everyone who was there loved him very much.
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i do feel a difference, though i should write about that on a different day (today was a difficult one). i feel him stretching. i can tell he is a little more in-tune with spiritual things since then. he defiantly feels that he is accountable to God and he's been trying to make better choices.

i feel ashamed that i ever thought he might be taken from this earth before he turned eight, before he had the chance to make and keep promises to God. i'd lost my faith. i'd lost my faith in the Atonement and i'd lost my faith in myself as his mother and i'd lost my faith in ossi.

i'm so glad for the help of the Lord and my family in restoring my hope. i'm so glad we've never totally given up on each other.

and we never will.
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Saturday, July 30, 2016

cousin summer.

this is shaping up to be a cousin summer, full on.
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i love it when my kids are able to meet extended family that they didn't even know they have. you're my cousin?? what!?? i think they are coming to visualize the immensity of my side of the family. my dad came from a big family. his siblings each had a a handful of kids. then many of their kids have pretty sizable families. our family tree is a giant sequoia.

actually it feels more like pando.

and i love that.
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i love that i see my cousins and remember them when they were young. those memories are triggered as i watch their children who look a little like they looked and act a little like they acted.
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i made a new friend recently, jeremy, who is a very interesting fellow. he's been homeless before and he still lives a similar lifestyle, working by collecting cans and doing odd jobs. he and his wife compete in the special olympics together. he carries a spirit of love and kindness everywhere he goes, and once he knows you he thinks of you as a friend forevermore. jeremy calls his close friends his cousins.

there is beauty in understanding that we all come from the same roots somehow, somewhere.
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my cousin amy was my idol as a child. i remember going to see her in the musical "babes in toyland" when she played little bo peep. i also remember watching her speak from the pulpit in church. i even remember a little of what she said. i remember because i was so confused and baffled as a pre-teeny-bopper whose friends were my life. she said, "friends are for the time, but family is forever."

whether we're born into or adopted into or we accidentally stumble upon our family, there is just something eternal about some relationships. that may not always look the same for everyone, but i feel it's a truth.
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my siblings are some of my dearest and closest friends. my children and darling husband will be with me forever. my parents are the very source of my being and could never be removed from me. my cousins are happy sprouts from the same system that add to the richness and breadth to the entire whole.

i love that my kids get to experience that wealth.
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when else would they feel absolutely comfortable stowing away with people they hardly know?
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Friday, July 29, 2016

hhheeuk. hhheeuk.

the other night while we were doing our bedtime routine the cat started to choke up a fur-ball.
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we giggled a little about the noise and went back to reading our book when the cat quieted down.
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then the noise started up again. only the cat was just sitting there staring up at us.
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we looked to the source of the hacking and there was finn, engaged in another of his impressions experiments.
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it's hard to believe that he's going to be in first grade. i'm just glad he survived kinder. he only incited one major panic, four trips to the principal's office, a handful of seating rearrangements, and less than three months of half-days in home-school.

all this and not a single malicious bone in his body.
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the lovers. the dreamers. and finn.
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farewell to grant elementary and hello mckinley.

should i warn them that he's coming or just let them find out the fun way?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

volunteers anonymous

we had four pirates. two of them were pirates twice. one was also an animal and an indian.

and two (insane) back-stage parents.
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we do things that are ridiculous and hard.

we sign up for stuff. leading up to the events we think, "WHY!?" why do we do this to ourselves? why are we some of the first ones there and nearly the last ones to leave?

for some strange reason we can't just put our kids in dance class and show up for the performances.
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during the craziness we make it work.

but after... oh, after. well, there is major relief.

i don't know if it's worth it. i'll have to try not helping time and see if there is an empty hole in my heart.
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we all know that will probably never happen, though.

unless i enter some sort of "volunteers anonymous" program and learn how not to get involved.
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