Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This IS the Place!
Our stake did a great thing this week and put on a Christmas party for all stake leaders and held it at the This is the Place Heritage Park - the pioneer museum-group-of-buildings across the street from Hogle Zoo. Somehow Troy, who is the ward mission leader, ended up on the invite list - I guess that's a stake calling around here. Anyway, Troy was in Denver, but it looked pretty fun, so I took the kids up by myself. The park puts on a great Christmas activity each year, and it was really neat for our church leaders to have the party there. By the end of three days without Troy I wasn't sure I was up to a big evening outing, but I thought it would be a shame to miss it. Besides, little R had a nap that day, so what else were we going to do to kill time until midnight?
We had a nice little dinner in the upstairs of one old buildings. I was so proud of little C, who insisted on dishing up his own food from the buffet. Much to my shock and delight, he filled his plate with vegetables and fruit. Did you hear that? VEGETABLES and FRUIT. This is unlike my child. Okay, there was also a small mountain of meatballs and a ham sandwich on the side. The most amazing part is that (are you ready for this?) he ATE all of it. I credit his delightful little preschool with the progress in the consumptionary arts - every day I ask him what the snack was and is always something like squash, cucumber and oranges; things he regularly rejects at home. But I digress. I was happy to see at dinner a good friend in our neighborhood, Ben Behunin. He's a guy I met in junior high, and who became an incredible potter. He's lived in the 'hood for several years and we've worked together a couple times for church stuff, and I just have to say, I think he's a great guy and a fantastic potter. I guess I was thinking of him and his wife fondly because I talked to him right when we lost Matthew and he tried to help me out with some jewelry. I hadn't seem him since then and it was nice to connect. Neat family. Okay, moving on.
The park has a very festive holiday scene going on - we had a great time. We rode a "train" (it had rubber tires, but did have an engine-type thing up front and made all the appropriate whistles and 'choo choo' noises, so it was all good) and we made Christmas ornaments. There was a St. Nicholas-type guy (C didn't really buy it) and story tellers. Ever heard the one about the Christmas spiders? Yeah, it was a new one for me too. There was a live nativity in a barn with some extremely real (smelling) cows, sheep and even a donkey. Joseph and Mary were kickin' it with some hot cocoa, but can you blame them? It was cold! We went in the Brigham Young house where the prophet himself was there telling stories and showing us around. A fun surprise was seeing an old missionary from my parent's mission, Alex Bigney of Kirkmount fame, playing the harp in the parlor. If you need a good Christmas CD, check theirs out.
Anyway, it was a really fun evening. At least it was a great distraction for my son who continues to pepper me with "Hey Mom, it's Christmas day now, not Christmas time, right?" type comments from sun-up until sun-down. I keep trying to help him feel the joy of anticipation but it's like reigning in a thoroughbred stallion all day long. I remember December taking as long as every other month combined when I was a child, crazy with excitement, and so I am trying to be patient with him. I bet I drove my parents NUTS. My memories of Christmas don't hold any specific feelings of irritation and exasperation radiating from them, so perhaps C is not picking up on mine.
By the way, our family recorded what I think is to become a new Christmas traditional show for us - Shrek the Halls. It was hilarious! And pretty true - basically saying that everyone experiences feelings of chaos and failure during the season, but that's all part of it. As donkey says, "It isn't Christmas until somebody cries!" How true is that? I had some low moments today but have perked up in time to stay up extremely late working on projects I don't have time for but have committed to do anyway. Why am I blogging? Avoidance, really. See how I keep on typing even after I have nothing left to say? It's a tactic I've been working on.