Sunday, October 21, 2007


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.


Annie said...

Happy Sunday! I loved the glimpse into your world, past and present. I too love a good Sunday even if it does exhaust me sometimes. Every once in a while I'll look at Greg and say "who ever thought THIS was a day of rest?" but mostly they're lovely.

My favorite Sunday dinner: popcorn and grape juice. Or chocolate chip cookies. My roast-and-potatoes-making grandma would not be so proud but it works for us!

Jessica said...

I LOVE Sunday, I sit here in the sty that is created when 6 people knock around in a house ALL day. Really, I do...and feel sorry for all the people I see who don't understand that just stopping (kind of!) for a day is the biggest blessing ever.

And your whole family photo paragraph was fabulous.

Bridget said...

What great memories. Our Sunday tradition was my dad always made sourdough pancakes after church. It was my mom's day off from cooking. Afterwards we mostly fought until we were too tired to fight anymore, then we napped.

I do love Sundays now too. No pressure to do anything at all. Love it.

Mique said...

I love this post- a little peek into your childhood. Your mom is fabulous.
I have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. Chuch is tough, tough, tough- but I do love that I am trying to do what is right (and your analogy of church is like exercise in one of my posts still rings in my ears every single sunday BTW). Someday it will pay off I am sure of it.
I can't stand Mondays (am I sounding negative or what?)...but it's just the cleanup after the storm. I never arrange for playdates or friends to come over on mondays because it is always a mess and I spend mondays trying to get it back to what it was before the weekend started.

Paige said...

I'm trying the Heidi dinner tomorrow night. Brilliant.

Celia Fae said...

I love Sunday too. Sometimes I really want to do something not-so-Sundayish like start the laundry and I tell myself that HF will help me do it Monday if I can only wait. It's not hard. I also love that we don't have any screen things on Sunday. I DO hate the Sunday night meltdown though.

Rochelleht said...

Oh, that part about the Hiedi dinner was so funny. I chuckled through the whole thing as I read it to my dh.

I have started enjoying Sundays more as the kids have gotten older. We just relax, do churchy things and nap. It is so nice. My religious zealot daughter has suggested we start having a Sunday night devotional. Who can argue with that? She gave us our first last night. It was pretty good.

Celia, my biggest Sunday temptation is laundry. I want (NOT!) to do it so bad. Sometimes, I can't resist the temptation, but I'm trying to be better.

Dancin Queen said...

Heidi dinner--that's hilarious!

I really enjoyed your reflections of your childhood Sundays.

Marty said...

The greatest part was laying my outfit on the bed and envisioning the fashionista I would be. The worst part was the baby leaking from each end all over my blouse, the earrings and necklace that were inevitably pulled off (and sometimes broken,) and the pantyhose falling down below my pregnant belly while I carried the old baby out of the chapel. Those were the good old days. I like hearing them from your point of view!

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