Jul 2, 2009

Life in the Mom Lane

by Kari Diane Pike

What do you blog about when there are thirteen extra children (9 and under), five dogs, and a bird who screams like a pterodactyl, all competing for attention, and you are trying to get a missionary out the door to the MTC?

Never just ask a nineteen-year-old if he has everything ready and packed. If you do ask, and he says everything is under control and all he needs is to do a load of wash...don't believe him. Next time, I've decided to follow one daughter's suggestion. Make your missionary pack everything and turn it over to you for inspection at least two days early. Go through the list item by item. That way you will avoid someone hemming pants at 2:00am...just 4 hours before he has to get on the plane.

Sometimes those small moments of crisis bring great blessings. I had already gone to bed when the un-hemmed pants were remembered. One of his older sisters offered to stay up with her missionary brother and hem the pants for him. They had a tender bonding experience that they will always remember.

While making "funny" putty is a great science lab, it is best to do it when anyone under 3 is asleep.

Kids don't need expensive gadgets and electronic toys to have fun. All you need is sand, water, clay, a box to play in and a cup and a spoon. Throw in some bubbles and a fan and you have a party!

I could listen to children's prayers all day: "And please bless us that we won't pick our boogers."
Since all the grandchildren are little, we have multiple requests for saying the blessing on the food. Sometimes our meals get blessed four or five times before we eat it. It's just more peaceful that way. Besides, how can I say no to hearing, "and tank you fo owa ga-maw" over and over again!"

Dads are indespensible. Water bottle rockets are cool.

When did my children become such amazing adults? How did they learn to be such creative parents? I stand in awe.

Holding in the tears when you put a missionary on the plane is not a good idea. It gives you a big headache. Let yourself shed a few as he waves good bye...just enough to let him know you miss him already, but not so many that he worries about you...and then have a good bawl all the way home. Crying is good for the soul.


  1. I've been tearful in anticipation of a missionary son coming home tomorrow! (And another son comes home in a month!) Can't believe the two years is at an end!

    All the best to your son. It's such a wonderful time for the missionary and the family.

  2. Hooray for you Valerie! I can feel your anticipation...i remember it well from when my older sons served their missions. What a fun summer for you!

  3. Ah yes, sending off a missionary son or daughter is a great experience. There's only one that can beat it--perhaps. That's leaving with your husband for your own eighteen month mission, saying goodbye to all your children, grandchildren and friends. Hoping they will do fine without you, while also hoping they will miss you. Knowing there may be great-grandchildren by the time you get back. Hoping you packed all you'll need.

    Then there's the thrill of entering the MTC.

    For me going for myself felt completely different from when I'd gone in with a son or daughter missionary. It brought such excitement I absolutely trembled.

    And homecoming. Wonderful. Worth everything.

  4. I laughed out loud through your blog. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on getting your missionary out. Good advice. My sons call is due any day. He is in Provo, earning money for his mission, and . . . stretching his wings to see what it is like to live on his own. We have to hold onto his call until he flies in on July 18th. Hmm . . . I hear you can freeze letters and they open easily, then you can seal them again. Kidding.

  5. Wonderful post. I reflect often on "my" missionaries that brought the gospel to my family so many years ago and how excited I was to find the gospel.


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