Growing up, my family lived the Fourth Commandment. On Sundays, we never went shopping or to movies or restaurants. We went to church each week, which took monumental effort.
After all, seven kids=14 individual Sunday shoes which would inevitably be lost or too tight on Sunday mornings. Plus there were four daughters, which meant four heads of hair to be "done." From an early age, I was chief hairstylist and my sisters still show me their scars from the curling iron. And, I say now what I said then...."Tough luck, ladies! Beauty is pain!"
Mom always got us looking fairly presentable. But she REALLY went all out getting herself ready. I remember watching her lay her clothes and accessories out on the bed. She was (and still is) always so stylish. She'd shut herself in the bedroom and emerge (usually while Dad was honking the horn) looking so glamorous with her silk scarves and stockings and high heels and smelling delicious. I was always so proud to have such a beautiful mother.
We wiggled and giggled our way through the three-hour block and then drove home. Mom usually had a post-Sacrament-Meeting-meltdown and then Dad would have his post-meltdown-meltdown. Then everyone would go crying to their rooms for naps and we'd all wake up a few hours later feeling much better.
Sunday dinner was non-traditional in our household. Thinnies (Swedish pancakes) or waffles were a favorite. Also, malts and cinnamon toast. We knew Mom was at the point-of-no-return when we had a Heidi supper which meant ham, cheese, crackers and fruit served on a paper towel. Mom and Dad tried to make it sound romantic by telling us that it was just what storybook Heidi ate in the Alps. We were skeptical, but gobbled it down anyway. Especially when Dad got out the sunflower seeds, scattered them on the table and allowed us to "peck" at them with our beaks. (Look, Ma, no hands!)
Usually, Sunday evenings, we would have some kind of family devotional. Mom would read us a story from a church magazine or the scriptures. Or the kids would put on a break-dancing demonstration. Our favorite Sunday devotionals were when Dad got out the slide projector and we watched carousel after carousel of old family photos.
I especially liked the slide shows. Being the oldest, there were at least 4,000 slides of adorable Baby Me in my stylin' bell-bottoms and stripey sundresses. With each child there were significantly less baby photos. Poor #7 had only 2 or 3 to call her own. Fortunately, she looked enough like me that Mom and Dad could tell her that, yes, she had also worn bell-bottoms and stripey-sundresses and wasn't it funny how she seemed like an only-child in all her baby pix?
Sundays were fun days.
These days I'm trying to carry on the tradition. Sundays can be the biggest challenge of my week. Church is a lot of work--before, during and after. But I love the spiritual boost it gives me. Also, I enjoy having all four of my kids clean and shiny at the same time.
Some people might think it's restrictive to keep the Sabbath holy. But, as a mom, I love having one day a week that is playdate/ballgame/birthday party/homework free. I love that I don't have to feel guilty about not cleaning or shopping or taking my kids to the zoo. I love trying to keep the day special and different from the rest of the week. It feels very restful and gives me the energy I need to take on Monday mornings.
Ugh. Monday morning...a few short hours away. Must go and soak up the last snatches of Sunday.