Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You Know You're a Writer When . . .

You hear your seventeen-year-old tell her little five-year-old sister that she's going to lay down by the pool and the child says, "No, you're going to lie down by the pool."

Numb No More! Or Close Enough

A wonderful thing happened that I forgot to write about. Last February, about six months after my tongue and part of my mouth stayed numb after a dental procedure, I suddenly regained 90 percent of the feeling back. I was so excited. Except that like most things in life there was a side effect. In this case, I began experiencing pain from the capped tooth that had started the whole problem. This increased for six weeks until I had to go in for an emergency root canal that had me sobbing with the pain. I had four of my six children without an epidural (labors between 23 and 29 hours), and this pain was every bit as acute. Painkillers didn't seem to even take the edge off! But the specialist took care of the tooth, and though it's two months later and I'm still experiencing some discomfort with that tooth, I have almost all the feeling back in my tongue and gum. I can eat salads and popcorn again. Happy day! Unfortunately, chocolate tastes better than ever, so it looks like I'm not going to drop those extra few pounds without real exercise.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Missing My Son

A month ago my son Jordan entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center), and from there he'll be heading to Japan in July to be a missionary. Jordan is nineteen and a senior at BYU University, but this is the first time he's left home. These past few years, he's basically used our house as a place to hang his hat, so to speak. He's been busy with school and work, and we really didn't see him that much. So when he went on a mission for our Church, I didn't really think life would be that different.

But it is.

I can't go down to his room at night and chat and see how he's doing. I can't ask him if he's having dinner with us. I don't see him as he comes and goes. I can't ask him to help me lift something, grab a pizza, or pick up the kids from school.

Almost, it's as though he died, though I get an e-mail each week from him and the occasional letter. I've kept so busy that you would think I wouldn't have time to miss him. No one else in the family seems to feel his loss so acutely. Is that because I'm his mother? Because he's the oldest of our children and the first to leave? We've been so close all his life, and I've always been there for him. Now I can't be.

He'll be okay—he's a smart kid. I'm excited that he has this wonderful opportunity, and I'm proud of his selflessness. It's not every kid who'd leave shortly before finishing college to teach people about Christ for two years. I admire him for making that choice, and I can see by his letters that he's learning so much. After a month away, he doesn't even miss us because he's so involved.

But I still miss him so much it hurts every time I think about him (which is a lot), and I don't think that will go away until I pick him up in Japan in 2011. Until then, I've been weaning myself from writing him so much. This week I sent only two e-mails, and no letters. Next week, though, I'm going to send him his favorite raspberry-filled donuts.