Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Best and Worst Mother Moments

My sister Camilla asked about the Scriptures I used for my countdown. Honestly, like all things I do from Picture Hanging to Scrapbooking I didn't plan it all out beforehand. I kind of make things up as I go along; it makes everything go faster (if sloppier. It turns out I am not a perfectionist.) So I started with Luke 1 and 2, then did Matthew (the wise men) and then did predictions/prophecies of Christ's birth from Old Testament and the Book of Mormon (I extensively used the Topical guide under Jesus Christ, Birth for this) and then finished up with telling Luke 2 again, both because I had four days left and also because Lydia can always use another go through of the birth story. I did anywhere from a verse to seven or eight a night; whetever worked for that story/prophecy.

On another Christmas note I decided to get a living tree this year, so that way we can keep it all year long and use it again next year (assuming I somehow miraculously manage to keep it alive) - also because we're going to be gone for Christmas itself in Tennessee, so we aren't going to actually "use" the tree. I went to Oakland Nursery as the last stop in our forever running errand day trip. By this point Elisheva had fallen asleep for the second time, and it was still snowing and freezing cold outside. After a short trip through the nice and warm shop it turned out all the trees were outside in the bitter, bitter cold. Elisheva was in her car seat, since she was sleeping, and so I would lug all twenty pounds plus car seat around for a couple of feet, set the car seat down, and look for several feet around before fetching her and repeating the whole process. Finally I let Lydia pick a tree, and then I went and looked at a bunch of pottery pots (which were half off), but I couldn't actually see any prices. So Lydia, Elisheva (who had woken up in the cold and was screaming by now) and I slowly made our way to the cash register. The cashier told me that the prices were written on the bottom of the pots, so she kindly kept the tree and fetched me a cart for Elisheva's car seat, so I didn't have to carry it.

So Lydia, Elisheva and I braved the cold again to look at pots. Shortly I found a great pot and called for Lydia. Who didn't come. Who wasn't there. I walked around and around the two rows of pots, calling for Lydia. She was no where. Now, this Nursery had ten acres of trees and other plants out there in the freezing cold, and I knew not where my daughter was among any of it. Lydia just isn't the type to wander off, and so fears came to my mind of the Great Serial Killer of the Christmas Tree Lots of 2008.

In complete panic as I ran around and around, a nice lady offered to stay with Elisheva while I looked farther afield. I ran up and down and around firs and pines and spruces, calling out vainly, "Lydia, LYDIA!!" Over the system played out "The First Noel" and I wondered to myself if I would always hate this song because it was playing when Lydia become lost and died under the wheels of a truck that drove through the lot at that moment. "Lydia!" My little frozen hands and my little Mother's heart wanted to fall in a heap and cry. My baby, my first born little girl of my youth: gone. And I could see no trace of her.

"Lydia!!!" and then I heard some shouting back, and ran back toward the central area, where I saw Lydia running toward me, with the woman with Elisheva behind her. Lydia and I ran to each other - just like in a movie, slow motion and all, as we ran across the pavement. I picked her up and swirled her and held her tight in my arms, crushing her to my heart, kissing her hair, her forehead, her precious cheeks. I didn't even have the heart to scold her I was so relieved that she was alive, that she was there. This was the first time I had ever lost Lydia, and I hope the last. Lydia asked me, "where were you?" Never mind that I had stayed with the pots while she wandered afar. After a perfunctary, "Stay with me, don't leave my side," I smothered her with more kisses.

After all this hullabaloo, when we reached the cash registers for a second time, and I realized that our little two foot Christmas tree was majorly and completely crooked, I didn't have the heart to find another one. So that's why our tree looks a little sad. That andthe fact that we have a lot more ornaments (even with all the heavy ones not on there) than tree, so instead of looking decorated it looks more "attacked."(Footnote one). Even our tree topper, a Santa Claus, falls off the crooked top, so it only gets a little bow it came with.

After we came home I made homemade, from scratch (only because I don't have a mix) hot chocolate and cinnamon and sugar toast, and then we all felt better. (Except when Lydia spilled hot chocolate all over a turquoise chair and when I wiped it off some paint came too. Grrr.)

Footnote One: Pictures are forthcoming. Of the tree, of my house, of my kids. I promise. It's just that I need to upload the pictures, download a new version of Gimp because the old one broke and then resize the pictures. Easy, right? (not to mention recharge the battery....)


  1. How expensive was the tree. By live do you mean one with roots as opposed to cut live (dying?)

  2. Oh, I know that feeling. Like you narrowly avoided the worst catastrophe of you life, of your child dying. Oliver nearly sent me to an early grave when he went running off toward 3300 South last summer. It replays in my mind over and over. I'm glad she was safe.

  3. What a nightmare! That is so awful, especially since it wasn't your fault and you really couldn't have done anything much better. Glad everything turned out okay.

    Can't wait to see pictures!

  4. I'm picturing something like that little tree from the Charlie Brown Christmas movie....