Monday, September 17, 2012

Brigham City Temple open house

While Andrew was in Canada on business, I decided to head out on another adventure with the kids. This adventure would require excusing Eliza from school twenty minutes early. I don't know why pulling my first grader out of school early conjures up rebel-like emotion, but it does. Don't worry, my crazy Mom feelings dissipated quickly as I had high hopes that our afternoon was going to be well spent.

 Last Wednesday, September 12, we toured the Brigham City temple. The day was special, for more reasons than one. And while we wish Daddy could have been with us, (he would have loved seeing how cute Lottie looked in temple footies) I am glad I bit the single parent bullet to make it happen. 

The night before, my friend Melanie stopped by for a quick minute and mentioned that she had plans to take her three girls to the temple the following day. Hearing of the coincidence, we quickly plotted out a scenario that would involve us going together. Going with our special friends definitely enhanced the experience.

There was definitely a healthy amount of people there, but the crowd level wasn't bad in comparison to the reports we'd heard prior. After watching a movie on the temple, we donned white temple footies and entered the temple. Eliza, who was taking this all to heart, was teary-eyed before she stepped out of our car.

It was great to be able to watch their faces as they took in the exquisite detail. Henry liked the wildlife that was featured on the murals in one of the 'instruction rooms.' They were both surprised by the baptismal font and its surrounding oxen. Eliza asked, at one point, why the entire interior wasn't white.

When we entered the Celestial room, I felt the significance of the moment. Of all the lovely things that make that sacred room shine, nothing looked more radiant than the children who stood next to me. And do you know, as incredibly cheesy as that sounds, I think that's the way God intended it. As beautiful as the surroundings are, it's who you are with that counts. I know the building has not been dedicated but the powerful feeling of love I felt there compares evenly to past temple visits.

Since I boarded the train of all things sentiment and cheese a few paragraphs ago, I'm going to give myself permission to share another thought. With our sweet friend Emylie touring the temple in her medical wheelchair, the kids and I would wait for Melanie and Em as they waited for their turn to ride up the elevator. The wait time varied with each stop. After a particularly long stretch the elevator door slid open to reveal Emylie's smiling face. One of her big sisters announced,

"Oh look, there's Emylie!" The reunion, after a five minute long separation, was a happy one. We were ready to continue together. I couldn't help but note the symbolism behind idea that we have loved ones in heaven waiting for us. I imagine that there level of excitement and anticipation at our arrival can't be matched. They are waiting to see our faces again. And then, in time, we will be the ones on the other side; standing with the welcoming committee. Forgive my lack of articulation, but I just think that in the next life the reunions with those we love will be beautiful. 

Lottie, oh what a good girl Lottie was. I almost... Oh wait. Hang on. Yes. There it is:

Welcome back feelings of guilt! I almost left Lottie with a babysitter. I am really glad I didn't. Sure, having her there was extra work, but she brings extra joy too. Lucky for Mom, she was well behaved. Hearing her say, "Wow" and hearing her ask, "What's that?" repeatedly, made me smile.

 "See Me-Ma? I can be so reverent!"

It's true. She calls me 'Me-Ma'. It's sounds kind of Southern to me. 
 It wasn't all cute accents and folded arms though. She was worn out by the end.
When I asked Henry what his favorite part was, he said it was the fountain out front. As exquisite as the interior of temple was, it's hard to compete with a neat water feature. I totally get it. With Lottie's small child needs and Eliza's desire to create a real moment, Henry is generally content to walk a few steps back. He's a low key guy, most of the time; which is why when I get a few minutes to hold his hand and am able to whisper something special in his ear, I feel pretty lucky. 

Thanks Parker family for a great outing.


Karina said...

Neat. We're hoping to go to that temple - maybe at Thanksgiving time. "Me-Ma" is very cute. :)

jamie t. said...

What a neat experience for those little ones. I remember my very first open house in Bountiful when I was 10.

rachel garber said...

Love your family.

Love Rush and Hannity too :) Glad to hear I'm not the only one. They fire me up and stress me out and put me on a roller coaster.

How is Chinese going for Eliza?