Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winnng the Lottery

His drivers license says he was born on March 2.
His birth certificate says he was born on March 3.
So I am splitting the difference and writing this at almost midnight.
The first time I ever laid eyes on him (other than the facebook stalking and investigating) was during a pretty difficult time in my life. It had been a rough summer for the Winn family. It had been a personally emotionally difficult time.  My Megan had been through one of the toughest experiences to date and was starting a new chapter in her life. She had told me about this guy named Dave. She told me about what an amazing friend he was. She told me that he was so much fun. That he liked to laugh and tease and he had an amazing ability to make anyone in the room feel special. She told me that he was kind to everyone. He went out of his way to talk to the person in the room that seemed alone and needed friendship. She told me that he was so good looking and he had an amazing smile and an infectious giggle.  She said that he unfortunately was only going to be in Provo for that semester and then he was moving to Florida. I could tell that she was impressed and excited about this young man but was being careful to not get hurt. She had actually initially met him when she saw the word "Guatemala" splashed across his back. "Guatemala" was a word that had taken on new meaning in our family. Jack had received a mission call to Guatemala and to say that my anxiety was at an all time high was an understatement.
It was two days before Jack reported to the MTC that I met him.  Probably not the best time to meet someone who is potentially interested in your daughter but it was what it was. Megan vacillated between her excitement to introduce him to us and her fears of being hurt. Add that to us all saying one of the sloppiest hardest goodbyes to her brother ( the Winns are horrible with goodbyes) and you can see what an electrically charged time it was. We were sitting at Kneaders, Jacks favorite place to eat. Megan had invited Dave to eat with us but was unsure if his schedule would permit or if he even wanted to meet us. After all it's a scary thing to say to a guy you hardly know...Hey would you like to meet my parents? It looked as if he was going to be a no show. Megan and I were sitting on a little couch pushed up to the table and she lay her head on my shoulders. "I don't think he is coming...I don't think he likes me enough" she sadly sighed. I was thinking how we didn't need this right now. Megan did not need to get hurt. I did not need to worry about one more thing. I did not want to say goodbye to Jack. This was not good. And to top it all off there was this dude standing there grinning. I was just about to snap and say...what do YOU want! Leave us alone! when I realized who it was. It was Dave. Megan quickly picked her head up off my shoulder and pretended as if all was right with the world. And you know what? It was!
Dave helped make it right.
He came into our family at a time when we needed him. His gentle spirit...his infectious giggle....his love of people and his uncanny ability to make people feel good about themselves was EXACTLY what we needed...right then and right now.
He didn't just show that love and kindness to Megan but to all of us. He treated me like I was special and that my feelings and needs were important to him as well. I am not sure he knew then what that meant to me at that time in my life.
As a mother in law you hope that your child finds someone kind....someone who treats them with dignity and respect....someone who will be their best friend...someone to build an eternal family with.
After all that's all you should really ask for.
You hope that you get as a bonus another child to love and be loved by.
Well.... I won the lottery.
Maybe that's why he has two birth dates.
He deserves them both.
The end
(wait...are there floods on Uranus?)

Monday, February 20, 2017


Today I met Megan and Dave and the kids at our local McDonalds. It was recently renovated and has quickly become one of the best spots to let the kids expend some of the limitless energy they possess while still being able to converse. The Robertsons had already arrived and stationed themselves at out usual table in the playroom. There is a glass wall separating the play area from the lucky patrons enjoying their Big Macs and fries in peace and quiet. Little 2 year old Sam was sitting right up against that wall. I thought it would be fun to sneak up to the glass and see how long it took before he saw me on the other side.  When he finally turned my way it was if he looked right through me. His brain just didn't compute that it was me. His face showed no emotion...then slowly he realized it was me. "GRAMMA!", he yelled through the glass.  Recognition turned to joy and then to horror. His eyes filled with fear and he began to cry out, Gramma...gramma. His chubby little hands were pressed to the glass firmly in an attempt to break through the barrier. He looked desperately left and right for help to free his Grandma from the glass cage she was obviously imprisoned by. His mom and dad both chuckled and then tried to comfort him and point out that there was a way around the glass into the room where I was. All hope was not lost. He just cried even louder. He didn't want any alternatives, he needed the glass to move. His Dad finally lifted him up and set him on the floor where he could be directed to a path to get to me. His older sister Kate who had been on the playground finally looked up and spotted me on the other side of the glass. Of course being the sage veteran of walls and openings, she led the way to where I was in an instant with Sam following her lead. I met them both at the corner of where the two rooms met and he ran into my arms with the tears still glistening in his eyes, his smile a sign of the total relief he felt.  Dave and Megan and I laughed at the scene wondering what goes through the mind of a two year old. I jokingly said that this is what it must be like in heaven when one member of the family makes it to the celestial kingdom while the rest languish in the terrestrial world. As I watched Kate and Sam play, I couldn't stop thinking about it and replaying the scene in my mind. It was sweet and touchingand funny and thought provoking. The photographer/videographer in me would have loved to have captured it on film...or whatever we are calling it these digital days. But short of strapping a go pro to my body 24/7 to capture and freeze all that I want it is impossible.  (Don't think that it hasn't crossed my mind)  What I wouldn't give to know all of the many amazing thoughts Sam must have and what the world is like for him. The wonders and joy...but oh the restrictions of only two years of earthly knowledge.

I wonder if  Heavenly Father is amused by my standing at the McDonald glass of my life willing it to stop being a barrier. My chubby hands pressed to the glass in fear and discouragement, willing it to melt away to get to the next room. He must smile that right next to me is another way. A huge entry into whatever room I should be in next. Not places as separate as life or death necessarily, but progression. I think there are far more entrances than glass walls. I take comfort in believing that He knows that my spiritual knowledge is much like Sams earthly knowledge and there will be time for me to learn and grow. Until then I will just remember the great effort Sam expended today to get to me and follow his lead.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Is it enough?

I haven't blogged in a really long time.  
Reasons? Excuses? I have many. 
Blogging was a fad. No one blogs anymore. 
I take pictures. Those will serve as my legacy. The photos will speak for me. 
My thoughts are insignificant. Who would sit and read them anyway?
There is so much out there written. So many words to read. I already waste enough time on the internet.
I am mediocre at writing. Why do I keep trying things only to find that I am just average. Nothing special or extraordinary.
I'm lazy. That's okay that I am lazy. I am a grandma for pete's sake. I can just sit back on the proverbial rocker of like and watch the next generation rule the net.

That's me in the picture above. The flat shadowy figure watching...documenting a moment that I won't forget....
We have been driving all day. Since 5 o clock that morning Todd, Megan, Dave, 4 year old Kate and 1 year old Sam and myself all cocooned in a red van filled with snacks and toys and laughter sprinkled with mere minutes of sleep and a whole lot of crying. We are on our way to meet with my other children and their families in Colorado. I have rented a cabin midway between the Utah and Houston contingents. I have hopes for 5 days of having all of these precious people in one place...basking in the chaotic sweetness.  But for now we are still trying to get out of Texas. Why in the world did they make this state so big. It literally goes on for miles and I think that it would do us all good to feel as if the hours of endless highway gave way to a border. A tangible marker that we will be able to complete this journey.  Sam who is usually a champion napper has spent the afternoon alternately struggling and screaming to "geete ou" and closing his eyes and falling asleep for 5 minutes, only to dash our hopes that it is going to be longer. We have made frequent stops for the kids to stretch their legs but it is usually in some dirty gas station where we keep blurting out, "Don't touch that!" We needed a real stop. Somewhere that we all could regain hope that we could do this thing. That we would make it out of Texas someday. 
And so on the outskirts of Amarillo in the sea of corn rows, we found our salvation. 
Cadillac Stonehenge.
A row of now just car carcasses that were planted in the ground to resemble Stonehenge. A whimsical spray painted pile of junk. It was perfect.
We watched the sun drop low in the sky while Kate and Sam did what their little bodies had been telling them to do all day. Walk...Run...and play.
We could do this thing.
We would make it across that border to the promised land of Colorado.

I think I did an adequate job documenting through pictures that moment in time. I think you can see the joy in their little bodies and the beauty of the flat never ending corners of a state that I have grown to love and call home.
But what I think I want to accompany those pictures is my words.
For Kate and for Sam. For Megan and for Dave and Todd.
And most importantly for me. I need to remember that in this day of awards and trophies and likes and internet popularity contests that I really write for me.
And that wiping tears from my cheeks as I put into words this moment in time is the reward.
And that is enough.