What a day! What a grand and beautiful and emotional day, the most compellingly magical aspect of the day being this:
Meet Walter David Connors, who came safely to this world after the kids were home from school and we were making pie to celebrate. Is that not a lovely head of coal black hair?
We all took our places on the merry-go-round of the day and it whirled and whirled. Parker was up at 6 am when I came over to tend while John drove Ashley to the hospital. Once Park is awake there is no going back. The instant whirr of the churning of the day must have caused a little motion sickness.
"Gummy," he said from his perch on the couch, "Have you ever had an excitement ache?"
I thought for a minute, and then asked him what an excitement ache felt like.
"It's sort of like a tummy ache but it comes from being excited."
Why yes, Park, yes I have.
"I think I have an excitement ache. I've had them before, he said. You know what's weird? I get them when I am going to church."
I thought to myself that this was a good thing, and I sent up a quick little prayer that such things would continue for him through his teenage and adult years.
We made french toast with powdered sugar and strawberries then sent Parker and Sophie off to school. When the older kids were gone Ruby snuggled next to me on the couch. She wanted to look at the photos on my phone, but when the screen asking for my password came up, she handed me the phone. She knows that she is not supposed to know my password. She's ok with that, thankfully.
Meanwhile, Ashley labored away in that hospital in Salt Lake City.
Later in the morning Ruby shimmied into her cute little black leotard with the ruffled skirt on top. I brushed her hair tight against her scalp and twirled it into a bun. Driving to her ballet class, we sat in silence for a few minutes.
"Gum," she called from her booster seat behind me, "I think we need to pray for Mom." We were running tight in the schedule and I suggested to her that she say the prayer for mama while I drove, since I couldn't really bow my head and shut my eyes at the time. She did, in a respectful and reverent way. She mentioned the typical things she had prayed for daily. She asked for blessings on friends and family. But then she asked Heavenly Father to make her mom safe. When she finished she simply closed her prayer with "Amen."
I told her how lovely her words had been, and praised her for her faith and respect. But… I reminded her…at the end of a prayer we say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, followed by Amen. Jesus, I said, is sort of like a password. Sort of a sacred secret code that gives us access to Heavenly Father."
I watched in the rear view mirror as she lowered her head again and used the sacred password to end her conversation with God.
"Gum. Why is Jesus the password?"
With two minutes to dance class, this was the best I could do.
"Well, remember that day your friend Emma came to carve pumpkins with us? I didn't know if Emma should come with us. But because you knew Emma, I was really happy to have her get in the car and come with us. The important thing to me was that you said she was your friend.
Jesus was the maker of this earth, and we are all his friends. He is the god of this planet, and everything on it. And his father, Heavenly Father, is in charge of all the planets and other places everywhere…places we don't even know about. When we pray, we pray to Heavenly Father, the god of all the gods, in charge of all the people in charge, but we need to use a password to get access to Him. Our password is Jesus. So in our prayers we use his name, sort of like a password."
Ruby thought for a few seconds. "Oh, she said, I get it."
She unbuckled her seatbelt and skipped into class.
It's a bit more complex than that. I didn't go into the fact that Heavenly Father, just because of who he is, can't have anything unclean in his presence. I didn't over-explain that Jesus is the one who was willing to get his hands dirty with us, washing us up so we can be in Heavenly Father's presence. I'm always surprised when people call it the great mystery. It seems quite logical to me.
Last night, after the merry-go-round of the day slowed on its hot gears, and we had tucked the kids into bed, all worn out from the excitement of a perfect new brother, John came home from the hospital. Dave and John and I sat in the family room at his house and talked. As I watched my son telling us the events of the day, I took note of the white band on his wrist. His token, his password, his permission to hold a certain baby with a pointy head with a mop of dark hair on top. Hospitals have learned to be protective of peoples' right to little newborn creatures. It indicates that no one but he and Ashley, who has a similar band on her wrist, has access to that little bundle we call Walter. It gives my heart peace to know that such important things are protected by passwords.