“Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Yo, Yo…”


Grace_KellyDeep down inside, I strive for grace.

Yet, there are only a few times in my life where I’ve been referred to as “graceful”.

My mom said I was graceful in my ballet classes.  She told me that my long arms and legs gave me an advantage. I think she was trying to make me feel good about my awkward body, but it still worked.  I remember with each pose, as I would execute ballerina hands, looking up my long lanky limbs thinking, “mom says I’m graceful”.   Don’t worry reality would kick in.  I’m sure it was just later that day when I got home  and my brother Guy would pull up his pants real high and say (in his best nerdy voice): “Hi, I’m Laura, I have long legs.”

Sister Marshall said I was graceful when I would do back flips off the rope swing at the old Warm Springs Ranch.  This warmed my heart because earlier that summer I spent more hours than necessary in her backyard pool trying to learn how to do a “one and a half” flip or a “gainer” off her diving board.  What a joke.  I’d like to think those “graceful” back flips could replace the countless mangled (again, with the long limbs) face flops.  Thank you Sister Marshall, wherever you are.

Other than that,  there are no other outstanding moments where I remember be called graceful.   I’m not completely inept of grace, it’s just not one of my outstanding attributes.

Well shoot, while I’m on the subject, there are times where I also lack social grace.  My hubby and I call them typical Laura moments.

Example-  Many people in our church are in the same situation as us:  we are all fixing up old houses.  On one occasion I remember  commiserating with one lady about our projects.  We talked about drywall.  We talked about bathrooms.  We talked about frequents trips to the nearby Lowes.  She went on and on about one specific employee of Lowes who was so helpful to her every time she went in.  I didn’t pay attention to her description, probably because I was thinking of another guy who I thought was totally unhelpful and we would avoid him when possible.  When she was done singing his praises I told her about my guy but left out the description of him because of a cautious glance from my hubby.  The conversation ended, she got up to get some food (Mormon gathering you know) and El Jefe explained his look:

El Jefe:  “You guys were talking about the same guy.”

La:  “We were?”

El Jefe:  “Didn’t you hear her say how he was in a wheelchair?”

La:  “No, I missed that part.”  (Yes, this unhelpful character happened to be in a wheelchair)

El Jefe: (Chuckle mixed with unbelief) “You were about to describe him, that’s why I stopped you.”

La:  “Oh, how embarrassing.”

El Jefe:  “No, it’s just a typical Laura moment.”

La: “Ugh.”

Thank goodness for El Jefe who can step in every now and then.

So, back to the point of this blog…

Today, in church I had an ungraceful mommy moment.  So many moms can relate, I know, but I can’t help but  blame these things on my own personality defects, oh, and my long lanky limbs.

Chunk #2 was coloring and the prayer was just about to be offered.  Usually I can just whisper “fold your arms,” and she obediently complies.  Today she was determined to finish coloring the whole bear before she had to fold her arms.

“Fold your arms!”  I hiss more urgently.  “NO, I’ve got to finish this!” comes the whisper of a determined 3-year old. “Here, give me the marker,” I say wondering why I just said that.  The prayer starts.  We begin a tug of war with the marker.  I try to be quiet and reverent about this whole ordeal but wonder what has come over me to engage in a power struggle with my 3-year old!  Somehow, as I pull hard, she also happens to jerk her hand even harder and nails me write in the forehead with her bright pink marker.   And it’s not where my bangs can cover it, it’s right where my part is.  The prayer is still going on but I don’t care.  I grab El Jefe’s arm so he can assess the damage.  He starts the hard silent laugh.  The one you have when someone is praying and you don’t want to  be caught being impolite or irreverent (He’s famous for those, you know).  The prayer ends.  I turn to  Chunk #2, still coloring that stupid pink bear to show her the damage.  “Look what you did to mommy’s forehead!”  I breathe.  I get an unsympathetic glance and she returns to her task at hand.  All the while I wonder why I’m even trying.

I turn back to  El Jefe who is still shaking with laughter and say, “Just give me a cat bath will ‘ya?”  He tries to suggest taking an appropriate time to sneak off to the restroom.  In my head I think of how close we are to the front of the chapel and how many people I’d have to pass by with the huge pink slash on my forehead.  “No, just lick your finger and wipe it off please.”

Such a kind and flexible husband.

After this encounter, the anger eased out of me and I was able to laugh a little.  I thought of how it was all really my own fault.  I replayed in my head the image  of us wrestling.   Wow, how graceful I am.

Next time I need to remember the first line of this entry:  “Deep down inside, I strive for grace…”

7 responses

  1. THis is beautiful, heart felt. Have you considered writing for Segullah (the LDS writer’s blog/mag) and/or getting your blog out on MMB (Mormon Mommy Blogs). Really, you should. You may not be graceful in ballet, but with words, you rock.

    July 19, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  2. love it! I forwarded it to my mom – Sister Marshall

    July 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm

  3. Greg

    Beautiful, La. I can relate to trying to not laugh with El Jefe sitting next to you – not an easy task. Sir Henry has been exercising his will more lately, and I always need to remind myself to not tangle with him.

    “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this:”

    Don’t enter a battle of wills with a 3-year-old, especially in church.

    July 19, 2009 at 9:59 pm

  4. mamacheetah

    Thanks Terresa. I have secretly wanted to write for Segullah for the past year or so but have never had the gumption to try. Your words give me some courage, though. Thanks for the feedback!

    July 19, 2009 at 10:00 pm

  5. mamacheetah

    Oh man, Greg, thank you for that. You crack me up!

    July 19, 2009 at 10:05 pm

  6. Wendy

    That is one of the 14 reasons I have outlawed markers in church. (Another one is Eden’s penchant for permanent eyeshadow.)

    July 20, 2009 at 1:44 am

  7. Ann

    La! My sister sent your blog to my mom and I was in town and now I have it!! So fun to see you and I love your posts! Love Ya!!


    July 20, 2009 at 11:20 pm

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