Elizabeth. Oh Elizabeth. She's growing faster than I can keep up with her. This past week we revisited with the eye Doctor, Dr. Keen. He's responsible for the vision therapy in Eagle River and the Valley, he's wonderful! In just the past few months, Elizabeth's eye has gotten stronger, to the point they have revised her eye glass prescription. The reading and comprehension program she started is helping her to catch up with where her peers are supposed to be. And after Stake Conference today we practiced her solo. Next week in church she gets to sing her very first solo. "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." I am hoping to sneak a video. She's so nervous, but she has a powerful voice when she really sings. I am excited for her, and nervous.
As I said earlier it was Stake Conference today. For Latter Day Saints that means we gather as a Stake, all members of the Wasilla Alaska Stake, to hear counsel from our local leaders. Since we have grown so much, the conference is televised to all the local chapels. Two hours of counsel and guidance, it's like a mini general conference. The only problem is, it's two hours of televised church with Five kids under the age of 9.(By myself, spouses schedule doesn't allow him to come with us anymore, I don't appreciate shift work right now.) Sitting through one hour of sacrament meeting quietly is a lot for them. Now it's two hours with out being able to look forward to primary or nursery! So I pack a bag with books and paper and coloring crayons or pens. This works very well for the older kids most of the time. The baby is at that age of freedom, he just wants to run and play! So I brought some crackers and a bottle. (I never bring food to church! I hate it! So much mess and so much fuss from the older kids!!!) But two hours required added measures. I arrive 45 minutes early, so I can make sure we have a good seat. (So it becomes almost three hours!!) As the meeting starts, the children ask if it's almost time to go home. (OH this is gonna be a great meeting!) Technical difficulties didn't even allow us the opportunity to sing or pray before it started... chaos!
And when someone is speaking (Brother Ramirez, now a bishop, one of my favorite speakers, my kids always remember what he speaks about!) about something I am sure I need to hear, the kids get louder and more obnoxious! I silently pray for help, that they will be quieter, that I will be able to hear. I ask the Lord why it's so hard?! Why go?! Every mother asks this question I am sure! I know it's not about me, I know attending every week is strengthening my kids and I don't really want to be anywhere else on the Sabbath. I don't want to dump my kids off and go by myself (They hold a Saturday night session for just adults, which I was able to attend thanks to my wonderful sister in law.). They will get older and they will soon sit quietly, so quietly I will wonder if they are actually listening. What are we supposed to learn? Why if I know it's gonna be hard do I still get stressed out? Why don't I expect it? Why am I ready to pull my hair out?! Why do I want to cry?!
My kids are fantastic during church normally, really I have to give them some credit. I can leave with the baby and I know they will sit quietly and behave. But today was just the perfect storm. I will miss the crazy, all mothers tell me this, and I am sure I will. I just wish the guilty feeling of disturbing everyone around us would go away. I wouldn't care so much if it wasn't affecting other people. Maybe I am just embarrassed for myself, that I haven't taught my kids how to behave. Perhaps it's all really selfish of me, expecting perfection from five kids under the age of 9.
For now I am going to bake in my kitchen (my calming center).
I love being a mother, I love my children, and I love the blessing of going to church each week. We are so blessed to live in this free country! Motherhood is hard, but I wouldn't give it up for anything. It is my life's greatest work. And with the Lord's help I will survive, and so will my kids.
Love you all! Hope you had a wonderful Sabbath!