All my mom wanted for Mother’s Day was for me to write a tribute to her on her blog. So mosey on over to Four Girls For Us. Because my mom’s wonderful 🙂
For the remainder of this post, I will refer to this I-Want-Out syndrome as Wanderlust.
I generally try to avoid posts I deem “cheesy” on this bloggy blog of mine, but this is my declaration of faith and knowledge–the Lord has a plan for each one of us, and if we stand still with the utmost assurance and faith, the salvation of God will become evident in our lives through the power of His Son’s enabling atonement. Although I may go through these periods of Wanderlust, I’m never far from where I need to be if I’m striving to live my life close to the Lord.
For this post, I need you to remember back to Valentine’s Day. Remember the giddy excitement you felt about all the delicious chocolate awaiting you throughout the day, or the special plans you made with that special someone. Or remember how pumped you were to forget the good-for-nothing lovey-dovey holiday and celebrate the centennial of the state that completed the continental United States–Arizona.
On this day of Arizona-statehood partying, I received a special package from my family. They had each sent me a valentine with a much-appreciated love note. I always love gifts from home, but these notes were especially significant to me. I even hung them on the wall above my bed so I could remember that, no matter what, someone out there loved me and thought I was something special.
My dad’s valentine was a simple list of things he liked about me. Different talents I had, (including my disturbing habit of quoting Psych non-stop, of course) different things I’ve done, (like that time I actually ran the 5k he had been encouraging me to do for years) and different attributes I’ve developed as I’ve grown up. There was one thing on the list that confused me, though. “Her mother.”
My mother? Maybe he had meant to put something like “her relationship with her mother” or “how she’s growing to become like her mother” or “the way she knows just the right thing to say that will drive her mother insane.” But, no–that’s what it said.
Anyone can have a mother. In fact, I am willing to say with certainty that everyone who was ever born actually has a mother. (Crazy idea, I know.) Then I remembered a talk Sister Dalton gave a while back. Part of it was included in a clip that I have embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
I remember thinking this talk seemed particularly appropriate for my own dad, who has 3 other daughters he’s responsible for raising. And the most important thing he could do for us is to love our mom? What about teaching me to ride a bike through my 6-year-old tears? Or baptizing me when I was 8 years old? Or introducing me to 80’s music? He’d also taught me how to change a tire, given me monthly Daddy/Daughter interviews, and been sensitive to the Spirit to know when I needed a loving text to get me through a bad day. But even after all that, loving my mother was the best thing he could do for me?
I remember a time when I was younger when I was first introduced to this concept. As a self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl. I had asked him who he would save from a burning building–me or mom. To my surprise and dismay, he chose the woman who carried me for nine months! The little me was astounded at the audacity that MY Daddy had to choose someone other than me. I knew he loved me. I guess he loved that other girl, too, but she was the one who bossed everyone around and always got mad when we would sing “Feelings” to her. (I should probably insert a disclaimer here that my mom is my favorite person in the world. Dramatization of actual events has been used for maximum effectiveness.)
Over the years, though, I have come to see the great relationship my parents have. And even though the mini-Rylee inside of me is still a little disappointed my very own Daddy would choose my crazy mother over me, I’ve come to realize that it truly is the greatest thing he can do for me. My dad has acted as the patriarch of our home and set an amazing example for my sisters and me. I can only hope someday my own children have the opportunity to be raised by a man as amazing as my father (who will love me more than them–suckers!!)
But in all seriousness–my dad is my role model. He is the one I go to for advice, the one I can share goofy Airplane! quotes with, and the one I know is always there to help me when I fall, whether it’s when I’m first learning to ride that bike or learning to live on my own. His cookies are still the best I’ve had, he still wakes me up at the crack of dawn for family scripture study, and he still loves U2 more than anyone I know. My dad is my absolute favorite person, and I am so grateful for him.
And so I write yet another Love Burst post. How grateful I am that my dad confused me with that line on my valentine, and for his fantastic example in loving my mother.
I was talking with my mom on the phone the other day and she started giving me a guilt trip for not updating my blog recently. (among other things. Gosh, I love those talks with that blessed woman) I told her I did feel bad, mostly because I can imagine Sister Mousser sitting by the computer, anxiously waiting for an immediate update on that orange and purple screen. Just kidding–but really, I love that woman and her unwavering loyalty to my ridiculous ramblings.
Now on to said ridiculous ramblings: I realized I never posted about an exciting events that occurred a few weeks ago. I was hanging out one Saturday evening after a not-so-great-week when my mother called.
“Hello?” (Said in a nasal-y tone she absolutely loves)
“Hi! What are you doing?” Says Mom.
“Oh, you know, just straightening my hair.” Says Me.
“Fun. Well, I was in the neighborhood and was wondering if you wanted to go grocery shopping.” She says.
“…What?” I stammer
She repeats: “I was in the neighborhood and was wondering if you wanted to go grocery shopping.”
“…What?” I repeat stupidly. So I’m slow on the uptake.
“Will you just come outside? I’m waiting outside your door.”
So I ran to the door to find my dear mother in all of her I-Just-Drove-For-Ten-Straight-Hours glory and clasped her to my bosom. We then hopped in the car and hit up Provo. Well…we went to Macey’s and Burgers Supreme. It doesn’t take much to make us Carling girls happy. She came to church with me the next day and made my crazy friends dinner. The next few days, I was spoiled silly with new clothes and a new hair cut and the company of the person I admire most in this world –she carried me for nine months, you know.
As I hopped into the car that first night and gave her one more hug, I asked her what the heck she was doing in Provo. She explained to me that she had been in the temple the day before and just felt like she needed to come give me some TLC. It was at this point Baby Rylee came out and started tearing up. I had been having a lousy week and was feeling a little lonely and lost. I was so incredibly grateful that I had a mother who was willing to sacrifice a few days with my family to (and I quote) “make sure I felt appreciated as a member of the Carling family”. Not only did she once again demonstrate her position as Best Mom of All Time, she taught me that listening to the Spirit is vital to helping others. She could have been doing so many other things those days–working, keeping house, working on her crazy calling–but she knew that “a problem to be solved is never as important as a person to be loved.” And she taught me that through example.
How gosh-darn lucky am I??
This post bought to you by: Snuggle–The Ultimate Fabric Softener
For all of you that have met my mother, you know what a neat-freak she is. For those of you who have seen my room pre-cleaning check, you know how I have not followed in that particular path. (Come steal my frysauce sometime, though, and then you’ll see how I’m my mother’s daughter. Come on, I dare you.)
There is, however, one trait of my dear mother’s that I have picked up on: Clean Sheet Night.
In my house, Clean Sheet Night was always on Fridays. My mom would take the greatest care in washing her sheets and making her bed nicely afterwards, always doing some sort of tribal chant about her clean sheets. As she crawled into bed that night, she would do so with a giddy grin on her face, murmuring “clean sheets” as she drifted off to sleep. Normally, being the wonderful, loving daughter that I am, I would mock her for this weekly ritual. When I got to college, though, I realized how much I appreciated Clean Sheet Night. I may not do it weekly (I don’t have the time or the money for such nonsense) but, boy do I love my clean sheets.
Clean Sheet Night starts right after I pull the sheets out of the dryer–nice and warm, hopefully smelling like the laundry room back at home (Although no guarantees there. My mother does magic with her laundry and I can never get mine to smell quite the same way. That’s a post for another day, though.) Next comes the ironing. Don’t laugh–this I definitely picked up from my mom. I don’t iron all of my sheets–generally just the top edge that I fold over and my pillow case. And so what if I use my straightener to get them flat? Sometimes a college girl has to do what a college girl with limited resources has to do. After this important step, the bed must be made. It doesn’t matter if I’m getting into it 5 minutes later–the bed must be made with the utmost care. We’re talking army-inspection quality, here. When Clean Sheet Night comes, it’s also vital to slip into bed with clean-shaven and freshly lotioned legs. This provides ultimate comfort as you drift off to sleep, happy and dreaming in your clean sheets.
Yes, I am crazy. Blame my mother.