Saturday, December 6, 2008

Red Letter Days and Neglect

In our family, we celebrate something called "Red Letter Days".

What is a red letter day? Well, I will tell you.

A red letter day is realy any day that may be special to a particular person. A birthday, a graduation, a piano recital, a dental cleaning with no name it. It is a red letter day. My mom started celebrating red letter days with us, or perhaps I should say for us, when we were young. It was new. It was exciting. It was fun.

You see, as a mother, sometimes you have to be creative. You are constantly thinking of things to entertain your children. And ways to make each and every one of them feel special. One day my mom was shopping in Evanston, and came across a little something that caught her eye. It wasn't fancy. And it wasn't expensive. What it WAS.......was RED. A solid red and plastic mug, cereal (or soup) bowl, and a plate. One bright red serving set. It was perfect.

And the red letter day was born.

From that day on, everyone celebrated their special days by eating and drinking from that distinctive dinnerware. Lost a tooth? Well, I'll should eat your breakfast on the red letter day plate! Memorized the Gettysburg address? How about some soup in your red letter day bowl! Sometimes I feel remorseful, whishing I would have remembered to bring my special red set to my wedding dinner, or to sip my hot chocolate the morning after Miles was born. Those were red letter days if ever I deserved one.

In any case, Miles celebrated his first Red Letter Day in Evanston on his Birthday. And suddenly I inherited those nostalgic plates from my youth. They are in my cupboard. And one of us uses them almost every day. For now, atleast. But its because I simply feel like everyday is a special day. Everyday I wake up to a roof over my head. Hooray! Let's have breakfast in the bright red bowl! And to a wonderful husband, and pinch his cheeks he's so cute I can't stand it little boy. (insert another word for Hooray here...I just can't think of any) But we better eat dinner on the special red plate! And we have families who love us, and cars to drive, and jobs to go to, and enough money to meet our needs (albeit from student loans), and caring friends, and the list could go on forever. We have so much to be grateful for. So much to be Thankful for. And so, everyday is red letter to me.

A couple of my family members recently celebrated their own red letter days, and may have felt slightly neglected when I didn't mention it. I didn't mention HERE, I should say. So,

Happy Birthday MOM!! If any of you know my mom, you know she is pretty great.

Here's why:
  1. She instigated "red letter day", of course
  2. She taught us to ski at the local ski slope in Evanston, so she could spend time with us, doing something we would WANT to do on the weekends.
  3. Because she is WAYYYY cooler than HER mom ever was. (Or so she has been telling me for as long as I can remember)
  4. Our house was always the play house. We basically had an open door policy. Which often meant she was up late, cleaning up the mess when we were tucked in bed
  5. Because she tucked us in bed. And would climb into bed with us (each one of us!) almost every night to snuggle.
  6. And she took us places. Lots of places. All by herself. Just her and her 4 kids. We went to Jackson Hole, we went skiing in Park City. We went to Hogle Zoo and stayed and Little America for Spring Break. And at night, when we would all cry and say "I want my DAAAAAADDDDDDDDD," she didn't strangle us. And then she would take us somewhere fun again.
  7. Even as we got older, she took us places. It was always my mom who drove me and my friends to State Dance Team competition every year. Or Cowboy Shoot Out. Or the haunted house in SLC. Or the Boys 2 Men concert. I could go on forever.
  8. I know the difference between lay and lie, as well as done and finished. And I can use them in a grammatically correct sentence. And I know when to use I or Me correctly in a sentence or conversation. (you don't always use "I" people!)
  9. And she woke up every morning bright and early for nearly 12 years to either practice the piano with me, or take me to piano lessons. And to make sure we had a good, homemade breakfast before we went.
  10. And in college, when I wanted to major in Lab Science, she said " will be GREAT at that!" And she supported me. And two years later when I said "I hate Science! I'm changing my major to Education!" she said " will be GREAT at that!", and she supported me. And later that year when I said "I am changing my major to Child and Family Studies" She get the idea. And finally, after 3 years, I changed my major BACK to Science she said, "you are so were always GREAT at science!" What a trooper.
  11. And when we told her that her lifelong dream of becoming a grandma was coming true, she cried. Then she made us swear we weren't teasing her, because that would be really mean. And then she cried a little bit more.
  12. And when Miles was born just after midnight, she made it to the hospital to be with us by noon the next day. And she stayed for almost two weeks, and took care of Miles, and took care of me.
  13. And she still answers the phone when I call her almost every day.
  14. And she taught me how to be a great mom

I could go ON, and ON, and ON. Yes...I'm sure if I just follow my mom, and do what she does, I will be WELL on my way to becoming what some would call an "elect lady."

Happy Red Letter Day Mom!! We love you!

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