Monday, June 11, 2012

Does This Shirt Make Me Look Like White Trash?

About the same time that my oldest son David had managed to unknowingly and flagrantly insult a member of the Primary Presidency in our Ward (see my post “The Weekly Bird” for the details of that adventure) his little brother Andrew was working on his own project that would vault him into infamy and cement my reputation in that Ward as a somewhat crazed and less than ideal mother. Andrew was four and adorable, just as rambunctious as his older brother, and liked to see people get riled up if at all possible.

Every year for Mother’s Day the Primary children sang a few songs for the entire congregation. It was guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye as those sweet voices sang songs like “Mother I Love You” and “Families Can Be Together Forever”. Everyone looked forward to it.

Mother’s Day Sunday dawned as a sublime spring day. Birds were singing, bees were humming and my little boys were freshly bathed, in pressed pants and white shirts, ready to go to church and sing like the angels they were.

I left them standing by the front door for exactly 4 ½ seconds while I went to the other room to get my purse. When I returned, Andrew was missing. I called out “Andrew, get in here. We are not going to be late again!”

He nonchalantly strolled into the room from the kitchen, his pristine white shirt completely covered in chocolate syrup.

The peace of Sunday morning shattered into a million pieces as the thoughts in my head came barreling out of my mouth. “AARRGHH!!!” I yelled. “Would it be possible for us to go to church just once without looking like white trash!” I was met with the standard mischievous grin.

He was hurriedly scrubbed down and thrown into a wrinkled old shirt. As usual, we arrived at church 10 minutes late and had to sit in the very back of the overflow in the gym. When the kids were called to come up front and sing I whispered to Andrew “please be reverent”. He dutifully folded his arms and walked behind David up to the stand.

The singing was beautiful and on cue all of the mom’s in the audience whipped out their Kleenex to dab their eyes including me. The kids were then invited to return to their parents. Instead of walking back Andrew took off at full speed. David who was behind him yelled at the top of his lungs “mom said be reverent!!!” and took off after him, tackling him in the aisle.

They both went down in a shrieking tornado of flying fists and kicking legs. A stunned silence fell over the entire room as 150 people looked on. This lasted for oh, I don’t know, about 3 years, or so it seemed. I finally got myself together enough to shove Buns out of his chair to go get them.

I was sure that the next speaker would get up and say “and now Brothers and Sisters, this is what happens when you have a terrible mother” but he didn’t. In fact several people laughed. The meeting went on as usual and my red cheeks finally regained their normal color.

Maybe the rest of the day would be ok. After church I was approached by the Primary President, a lovely and kind woman. She stopped me in the hall and said “Brenda, I’m concerned, Andrew told me today in Primary that you said his shirt made him look like white trash.”

Andrew & David

 Oi vey. 

Those boys knew how to have fun and give their mother a hard time. It hasn't changed much in the ten years since and I love it. Humility is a built in benefit of motherhood and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have however learned, that anything I say will be repeated at the most embarrassing possible moment and used out of context and so I watch what I say. I also have learned to laugh at the things that happen when you have four awesome, energetic, little kids around. 

Even when one of them de-pants you in front of everyone you know. But that's another story.



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