And by Christmas, I do mean Christmas.
And by half decorated, I do mean 90% of the decorations are up, but many of the red and green decoration containers are still sitting around the house, the ladder is blocking the front door for the third day in a row, and other decorating sundries are strewn haphazardly about our abode, waiting to either be hung up or put back in the attic because we don’t know where to put them in this house/don’t like them anymore/don’t have enough energy to care at this point.
My plan was to be 99.9% decorated by the end of today, but as it turned out McH and A~ had some evening church meetings and I, of course, got a headache. At least it wasn’t a migraine, but still . . . I’m beginning to feel a tad more than defective and useless.
But enough of the whining, and on to the unrestrained parental bragging.
Today A~ gave her first talk in church. Not in primary, but in Sacrament meeting. For my non-LDS readers, we don’t have a minister/pastor/whatever who gives a sermon each week (though if you’ve been reading here for any length of time you’ve probably already figured that out). Instead, we usually have three people speak on any given Sunday (speakers are chosen from week to week by the bishopric/branch presidency), and one of the three people is usually a youth speaker. To qualify as a youth speaker, one must be 12-18 years old and, you know, assigned by a member of the bishopric/branch presidency to speak in church.
So today was A~ first talk. Ohmygoodness! She did so great. Of course I’m not biased or anything, but my heart just about burst out of my chest. She wrote the whole talk herself and, seriously? I’ve heard adult talks that weren’t so cohesive and well thought out and supported with quotes from the scriptures. And her delivery? Perfect. Not too fast, not too slow, no mumbling, plenty of eye contact with the audience, the whole shebang. She was asked to speak for five minutes and spoke for just a smidge longer than that (more than five, less than ten, but I wasn’t paying attention to the clock too closely). There is no way I could have done that when I was twelve. I would have died first.
I almost died when I was fourteen and had to give my first church talk. Did you know lips can tremble? I mean, we all know about knocking knees, and believe me, mine were, but I had no idea one could be so nervous that one’s lips would would shake. Mine did.
But this isn’t about me and how I was so terrified that I way over prepared and my first five minute youth talk was twenty minutes long (I’m sure my bishop was on the verge of escorting me away from the microphone by the time I finished). This is about A~ and what a great, smart, talented, faithful kid she is.
As I said, I am not biased at all, of course.
We did get several compliments from other members of the congregation after church today. Things along the lines of, “It’s so nice to have a youth speaker who doesn’t just mumble their way through an article from The Friend.” Again, for the non-LDS readers, The Friend is a church magazine designed for children ages 3-11. You would be amazed, or maybe not, at how many fifteen and sixteen-year-old youth speakers just “read” (and I put it in quotes because by read I mean “mumble unintelligibly in sixty seconds or less”) an article from said magazine for their talk and call it good.
Not to be critical or anything, it’s just that if I want to be mumbled at I’ll go see New Moon, because that Edward guy is very mumbly and that Jacob guy is very half naked, and the mumbling is all so much more tolerable when it’s balanced by strong biceps and washboard abs.
Anyway, A~ did not mumble. Have I mentioned that fifty-seven times now? And at the end she challenged the congregation to pay their tithing. Hmm . . . typing that out makes it sound like my child is all haughty or something, but that’s really not how she did it. She did say, “My challenge to you is . . .” but she wasn’t all snotty and pious about it.
She was the single most traumatizingly challenging baby I have ever known personally (though I know some of you have had similar experiences with some of your babies – oh how I wish I had bloggy friends back then to commiserate with and help keep me sane) but she is making up for it in spades now. She is just an amazing kid.
You know, when she’s not being all angsty and oppressed twelve-year-old girlish.
So now I’m just sitting here staring at my screen trying to figure out how to end this post and . . . I’ve got nothing. On the up side, I also no longer have a headache. So maybe I’ll go trip over some red and green boxes and do some decorating. Or maybe I’ll work on some church stuff I need to do.
Like write that last part for the Christmas program . . .
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt hopes you had a good Thanksgiving.