Sunday, May 17, 2009

coin purse

I must have been in 1st grade, although I'm not sure. It's the time when you start learning about money. Ditto's for homework with pictures of coins and dollars, my job was to add them up. I have a fuzzy memory of the first time I tried to purchase something. They made a big deal about a school store in my elementary school. This was different from the regular school store. This was a store that the 5th graders would be running for a week that the other grades would be able to visit. It was right before mother's day and it was marketed as a place to possibly find your beloved mother a gift.

I was excited! I negotiated with my own mother how much money I could possibly have so that I could buy her something. I think she gave me a dollar--like I said the memory is fuzzy. I remember a dollar because she made me put it in my coin purse. I get a little grin on my face when I think of my mom talking about a coin purse (and pencil cases, but that's another story for another day). My coin purse was little, pink and had a small zipper to keep the contents safe. I put my little coin purse in my empty purse and went to school. I'd seen my older sister take a purse to school. Finally I had my purse with my coin purse with a dollar for the store!

Our whole class had a scheduled time to visit the store. We went after lunch and had probably 10 minutes to "shop around." I was nervous, clutching my purse. I looked closely at the prices considering what I could afford. There was a mug that I wanted to get for my mother. It was too much money. At a small table I found some containers holding pens, erasers, pencils and other small items. Then I saw it. A glorious, tall, red, glittery/sparkly pen! It swooped around in loops at the top! The pen was less than the dollar I had. I looked at the 5th grade girl across the table and told her I'd like to get the pen. She told me it would be ___ what maybe 90 cents? I took out my coin purse. I remember looking at my dollar, hand shaking a little and saying out loud, "so, I give you this?" The 5th grader snatched up my dollar, gave me my dime and I was done. What a rush!!

I just purchased a car. My first--I want a new car--purchase! I negotiated the financing and everything. I had the same nervous energy of that day in first grade. Is this really going to work? So, I just give you this? Really?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mothers day

Every Mother's Day our family would go to church (because it was Sunday, not because it was Mother's Day) but on Mother's Day I was excited because sometimes my dad would have a corsage for my mother. It would probably be an orchid. The fun little game I'd play would be judging the competition of corsages. Who had them, what did they look like, color, number of flowers, how big it was resting on the woman's chest, important details. There was one woman who was usually the winner. She was Hawaiian and would have huge, beautiful flowers. I doubted there was an actual competition or that anyone else cared, but in my small childish head I considered it. I was concerned that some women didn't get flowers from their families. Were they sad? Somehow I thought that maybe the flower symbolized the woman herself. I wanted my mom's corsage to be beautiful. Today I caught myself wondering about that. It's been so long since I went to church with my mom on Mother's Day. Corsages seem to be dated in my mind, but I secretly hope there are still some people who find themselves sporting massive corsages, one orchid per child birthed, weighing heavily on a mother's chest, partially blocking her vision, and giving her child something to stare at (or destroy-depending on age).

Mother's Day 1990. I was 11 years old. At the age of 12 a child moves out of primary and begins going to youth Sunday School classes. I was a few months away from this awaited day when I would no longer be one of the children. This tough age of trying hard not to be a little kid, seeing the girls a little bit older then me and wanting desperately to fit in with them left me quite conflicted. That Sunday the primary was scheduled to sing for their mothers in sacrament meeting. I did not want to do it. I think I was so tired of being a kid. I wanted to be older or cooler or something. I told my mom I didn't want to go up to sing. Of course this didn't go over well. I don't remember what took place but I do remember finally going up to the front to face the congregation. I couldn't sing. I also couldn't stop crying. I just stood up there and sobbed, taller then everyone, standing on the back row, I couldn't look at my mother.

I wish I could sing a cheesy song to my mom today. My favorite was:

I often go walking in meadows of clover,
and I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over,
Dear Mother, all flowers remind me of you.

Oh Mother, I give you my love with each flower
to give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;
for if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear Mother, from you.

Mom, I'm sorry I didn't sing to you that day.