Let's Do It Lawson Style

January 13, 2007

It’s official. My kid needs friends—very, very badly. If there’s one thing I really miss about our time in Texas, it’s the overabundance of children. We had a well used park one block from our apartment, we had dozens of kids in our church congregation, and I had a twice weekly babysitting job that was more like a play date. Seriously folks, everywhere I turned, there was another little angel just waiting to lick the upholstery of my car. I miss that, and so does James.

Since we’ve moved—and been in an unyielding state of upheaval—James has had very sporadic contact with children. And whooo boy, it’s really beginning to show.

Last Friday, we spent the day looking at houses with a real estate agent. Based on the fact that I had promised him a lollipop, James behaved remarkably well. After the showings were over, we headed to the corner store and let him pick a pop. When James entered the candy section, I mistakenly assumed that he would give some sort of a normal reaction. You know—hopping up and down, humming the tune of Endless Love, or wagging his imaginary tail.

Well, no. James didn’t do any of the above. Instead, he gazed lovingly at the piece of candy, hugged it close to his heart and said, “Hewo pop! Is you my fwend?” (translation: Hello pop. Is you my friend?) And in a grumbly, bear-like voice James made the lollipop reply: “Yes, I es yo fwend. I here to pway wet you, Dames.” (translation: Yes, I is your friend. I’m here to play with you, James.) And James and the lollipop proceeded to have a twenty minute play date in the backseat of the Toyota wagon.

They played guessing games, they took turns singing songs, and James pretended to tickle the lollipop stick until it farted, fainted, and eventually went missing on the floor of the backseat. As I attempted to calm an inconsolable two-year-old, it occurred to me—James was crying over the loss of a cardboard stick. I had one very lonely kid on my hands.

As soon as James gained his composure, I called Jared on his cell phone and said, “Listen. It’s been a month, and we’ve got to get back in the habit of going to church.” You see, where there are Mormons there are kids—lots and lots of poop-in-the-pants, booger-nosed kids. Just the way James likes ‘em.

So this morning, for this first time in a month, we got ourselves to the nine o’clock service. We walked into the building and settled into a pew behind a stiff-looking senior missionary couple. From our brief chat, I gathered that they were in their early seventies, they were fairly new missionaries, and with the exception of a family vacation or two, they had never left the boundaries of Salt Lake County, Utah. And I won’t lie—they seemed a little put off when I described the drive from Texas to New England as a “long ass trip.”

But, you know, I figured I should break them in early. After all, they’re serving in the Boston area for two-long years, and I’m minor compared to most of the Mass-holes they’ll cross paths with.

As the service began and the organ piped in, James broke out in a major case of the wiggles. Within ten seconds, he had bounced his miniature Hummer of the back of the male missionary’s head. I apologized profusely, and gave one of those faces where you clench your teeth, raise your eyebrows, and shrug your shoulders as if to say, “Kids. They do the darndest things.” Ten second later, James did it again. Obviously, I repeated my apology and did the whole embarrassed face thing again.

But after the third and final truck tossing, I gave up. I simply took the Hummer, parked it in my purse, and gave the old gentleman a somber nod. I got the distinct feeling that the kind senior missionary and I come from very different worlds. He probably raised nine children who all play the violin and sang harmonious musical numbers during Sunday service. And us? Well, we’re the Lawsons. When we come to church, we throw s*!&.

21 comments:

Sue said...

Awwwww, poor James. I hope he found some friends at church.

Ha ha ha ha! HA! My kids are - not so good with the whole reverence thing. We're trying, but three hours is a LONG, LONG time. My sympathies are definitely with them. At least there are a bajillion kids in our ward, so we're not the only ones who are reverence challenged.

Brandon Harshe said...

Looks like James needs a sibling. Ha Ha Ha! January and I are in a ward where we're some of the only young people there. Where we live in Scottsdale is mostly old people, so it's interesting.

By the way, did you know that I'm going to go back to chiro school?

Jill said...

We've had our share of misbehaving children during church. It does get better as they get older.
Now when we see someone else's child acting up in church, DH and I quietly high five each other and whisper "Yay, it's not ours!"
I got to teach 7 darling 3 year olds in primary today. Unfortunately only one of them wanted to be there. I'm just happy none of them bit me.
Can't wait until next week.......

Rob & Katy said...

I think Jesus can appreciate a good round of throwing $@&t in church. I'll bring Ty to play with his cousin soon... although I don't think a one year old tornado is the type of companionship James is longing for... Ty takes cars... and eats them... a lot...

Few ox said...

That is what makes church so fun, irreverence. There was a weird couple making out during sac. meeting once in my ward. Good times!

Grandma said...

talking to the lollipop?:( library this Wed 10:30 playgroup and this Fri 10:30 storytime:)

The Roberts' Report said...

Hey no matter how MOLLY MORMON they are...they were lucky to have you guys!! Missin' you in big D!! Sure could use some help putting on the usual one man show here in Lakewood Ward. Ugh!

Jess said...

"Where there are Mormons, there are kids"! Hilarious!

chattypatra said...

Amy, who cares about how other people perceive you or your little family. The Lord knows your heart and loves you exactly the way you are. If there is a place in Church for a middle-aged never married woman like myself, there is one for all of you. I hope that James makes many new friends.

I miss you very much.

Jennifer said...

Poor James. There's got to be some kind of play-date meet-up in the area. Let me see what I can find out for you.

In the meantime, where on earth have you been!! You haven't been over to run in ages! :( I'm beginning to doubt your dedication to our upcoming 5k, *sniff*. :P

P.O.M. said...

Doesn't everyone play the violin and sing harmonious musical numbers? I know we sure did as kids. NT

Melinda said...

Oh, I hear ya! My kids need friends so bad... hell, I need a friend!!!

akshaye said...

Mass-holes .. I gotta remember that!

Poor James :(

Catherine M. said...

Maxwell insists on wearning the shoes that used to be James's. He always says, "No mom, I want to wear the shoes Jamer's mom gave me" when I try others. Josie (my niece) also has a total crush on James. In fact, so do I. We've got webcam. We could have a virtual play dates where the boys could line up and name their cars and then look on the screen and see their buddy doing the same thing. Then we could do it all day for like a year.

We miss you Amy. Please call me soon! I need a fix and I'd like to send you something red now that I've got the vacuum. Don't worry we just picked it up yesterday and I swear I wouldn't have used it sooner anyway.

TC said...

But was there a kid there for James to play with? Or at least a lollipop stick???

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

Mass-holes! You are too freaking funny!

Leisha said...

Holy s#!& you're funny! I went blog hopping and ended up here. Thanks for making my day a little brighter! Too bad I missed you when you lived in Dallas!

Jenn S. said...

Glad you all made it safe and sound, we miss you!

Are there many kids James' age in your ward?

J~mom said...

Oh my gosh that was good stuff!!!!!! SO funny Amy!

kila said...

you have 9'oclock church this year? haha sucks for you. i have 1'oclock:)

kila said...
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