I have straddled too many strangers in my life time. Two is about two too many! How do I always find myself in these awkward situations? We took the kids to White Water. All was fun and sun until we decided to go on the body flumes. The kids are at a fun age where they are big enough to do some big rides and actually enjoy them. We always send an adult down first so that someone will be at the bottom when they get down, ya know. Well it was my turn to go first. I noticed that the fellow in front of me was rather large, but didn’t think much of it. I sat and when the light turned green pushed off. Half way down the slide I rounded this corner and could see Mr. Big STOPPED on the slide. There was not enough water pressure to push him. And I was flying towards him pretty fast- too fast to stop myself. I tried. All these questions race through my mind. What am I going to do? Do I lock my knees and hit him with the bottom of my feet? That would hurt. Do I try to turn sideways? Do I spread my legs and straddle this stranger? Can I even manage that? He’s big! I was dragging my hands on the side of the slide trying to slow myself down but it wasn’t doing much good. I slammed into him – straddle style and we slowly rode the rest of the slide together. AWKWARD! Then I was like What do I do with my arms? Wrap them around him? Scratch is hairy back? Drag them behind us? Thank goodness I was smart enough to use them to push is the rest of the way down. And after all of me was touching all of him I was just praying that when we dropped in the pool at the end that he wouldn’t squash me. That was a legitimate concern. When we dropped in the pool I tried to dive to the side to keep myself safe. It worked. We both walked out unscathed. Only our pride was wounded. Jared is going first from now on.
We found ourselves in quite the predicament right after Lydia turned seven and we started talking to her about baptism. Every time I would mention it she would well up in tears and say she did not want to be baptized. I just wanted to bundle her up in my arms and let her be a baby forever. She’s too young. She’s too sweet. I found myself thinking. What sins does she need to be forgiven from? She’s never done anything wrong in her life. I was not going to make my kid be baptized. My job is to teach and love and accept and encourage, but it was her decision to make. If she didn’t want to do it; I was not about to make her. The more we talked about it; the more upset she seemed to become. It wasn’t until months after she turned seven that she opened up and expressed how much she wanted to be baptized, but that she did not want anyone to watch her. Gotcha girlfriend. And a thousand times, ditto! It broke my heart that the anxiety and stress of a whole baptismal program with a ward and a half watching was making her so upset. Every baptism we have been to recently had lots of people there and Lydia was terrified to have a room full of people watch her do something so personal. I get it. Sometimes she is so much like me it’s scary. When it comes to spiritual things, things that are so personal and sacred to me, I have a hard time sharing. It’s so personal and intimate and I get so nervous in front of people that I feel that words are not adequate enough to express all the feelings. Plus, I’m a crier. . . an ugly crier. You don’t even want to know how many tears were shed while just discussing and planning her baptism. All the feels! Sometimes I think I feel too much. In October, a whole nine months before Lydia’s eighth birthday, Jared and I were out at a nice restaurant with live music and we started talking about her baptism. Bad idea. The waiter came over at one point to ask if I was okay. Ugly crying over her baptism that was nine months away. Bless my heart! It was such a huge milestone in her life and I don’t think I was emotionally prepared for that. I forgot to pack one of her three dresses that I had already bought her for her baptism when we went to Utah. We wanted to do her baptismal pictures out there. So I bought a fourth one. Sigh. But I ended up liking it better than two of the others I had bought. So I kept it and returned two of the others when we got home.
And these pictures. . . be still my heart! She is even sweeter than she looks and even more beautiful on the inside, if that is even possible.
The day of her baptism could not have been more perfect for Lydia or our little family. We sat around the font, a little semi-circle of all the people I love most (just immediate family per Lydia’s request) singing as Jared played the guitar. I thought right then and there my heart might burst into a billion pieces. The love felt in that room filled every part of my soul. I have no adequate words for the peace, and love, and gratitude that enveloped me as I looked at each precious face seated around that font. As Jared and I walked her to the font she started trembling and sobbing. I knelt down on the bathroom floor and held my baby in my arms and prayed for her comfort and courage. She giggled nervously, the way she does when she’s trying not to cry, into my dress, snotting all over me. Then her daddy walked her into the font. I stood on the steps behind them and watched my baby girl covenant with our Father in Heaven and take upon herself the name of Jesus Christ. What a glorious day. I am so proud of her for overcoming her fear and doing something that she knew was right, and important, and sacred, and eternal. She is my hero. My heart overfloweth.
We were lucky enough to stay at Susie’s family’s cabin at Glendale Reservoir in Idaho. It was beautiful this time of year with green grassy fields and snow-capped mountains in the background. We went shooting, canoeing, kayaking, four-wheeler riding, hiking, swimming, and more.
Happy eighth birthday, baby girl! Eight. This was a big one for me. The age of accountability. I’m not going to lie; I kinda wanted to wrap you up and let you be little forever. However, time goes on and I’m excited for everyday with you. I’m excited to see who you become. I’m excited to watch you continue to grow and learn. I always say that you are the sweetest girl I know, and I mean that with all my heart. You are beautiful inside and out. I am proud of you and aspire to be more like you every day. Happy eighth. Here’s to a lifetime more! I love you!
Lydia decided to go to Monkey Joe’s for her big day. They bounced their little hearts out.
And Nanny did American Doll again for her birthday. Our favorite! And this year, Liam got to tag along.