Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Motherhood is a stream of wiping, consoling, scolding, teaching, exhorting, preaching, fixing and healing.  There is nearly always someone sick, making a mess, picking on a sibling or otherwise complicating my images of a lovely home.  The more children you have, the less likely that everyone will be happy and healthy at the same time.

I learned early not to look back on the day and evaluate whether it was a good day or a bad day.  It is rarely so cut and dried.  It could have been a nearly good day, but when the kids took a bath after dinner, they flooded the basement, or some other disaster, that ruins the possibility of calling it a good day.

I decided to take the moments.

And I try to remember them.  I make a conscious, "Emily, remember this!" decision and keep a permanent record in my gray matter.

Sunday night was one such moment.  It was the last night of Spring Break and we had all had full access to Dad the entire week.  (He was amazing last week.  Among other things, he changed the hot water tank, cleaned out the back of the dryer, shampooed the carpets and helped keep the house clean.  I told him to quit school.  It would be worth living on welfare to have him around all of the time!)  Justin sat at the computer inputing favorite songs from his childhood while the rest of us danced.

After a few minutes, I found my way to a corner so I could gaze upon the entire scene and cement it in my memory.  The house was tidy and the baby was safely diapered for the night.  Two of the girls were doing the Tango--not very well, but with a great deal of passion.  It reminded me of my sister and I rocking the Polka in the very same way at the very same ages.  During a slow song, the oldest sister held her youngest sister and rocked gently across the floor.  There was so much love in that embrace.  One child is a natural dancer and knew precisely what moves were required for everything from Van Halen's Jump to Suzanne Vega's Tom's Diner.

Everyone was laughing.

So, even though there had been less-than-perfect incidents earlier in the day and there were to be emotional scenes before bed,

there was this moment 

when everything was right in our world.

In honor of my oldest brother and for your viewing pleasure, may I present an anthem from my childhood:


  1. Love the moments - I so wish that they happened more frequently! I think I am usually taking a nap when they come around lately.

    BTW Jump? I think I went to the concert.

  2. Thanks for sharing that Emily. So true. Good advice. I too often try for the good day, bad day scenario and end up feeling frustrated.

  3. Love moments like that:) I got each of my kids their own special book that I write in all the precious moments or just thoughts about them. I hope to give it to them when they leave home. It's something I know they will cherish and hopefully it will help them during the challenging times in their life.

    I know my journal has made all the difference this last year in helping me realize blessings that have come after trials of faith.

    Emily, you are an amazing mother and writer. I love that you enjoy having babies. Not too many people are willing to have big families these days. Dave and I are continuing to hope we will be blessed with a few more. It's all in God's time.
    You are so cute! I think your house looks gorgeous. I hope someone will want to buy it, so you can move up here.
    Your right about not looking back and evaluating your day good or bad.

    All that really matters is if your kids feel loved at the end of the day. The years of raising children are the best years. I love the feeling of new life and giving birth. I love holding a child that was just with Heavenly Father. That is sacred time and I love it!
    I wish you and your family the best of luck in the coming months.

  4. I should say something deep about the first part of this post, which is all true and I thank you very much for sharing a lovely thought, but I actually have to comment on teh music video, because its just one of those days when I could really let loose with a little jumping and crazy 80s hair. Thanks for sharing. A lot can be said for our chilhood music, but the one thing they did know was how to just let go and go crazy. Always the music I turn to in the off chance I actually get to be alone in the car! Thanks again the first thought and the smile.

  5. Good for you to recognize these moments. It is right to recall those moments...while one still can!

    Only now as I stroll down the lanes of forgetfulness, do embrace those small moments in time more often.