Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hi-yah! Chop, chop!

Just so you know, if you're reading this in Firefox, it's supposed to look like a notebook. Not seeing it is part of the small price you have to pay for escaping the evil clutches of Internet Explorer.

Today, all the kids had a day off of school and so the babysitting was full at the gym. Instead of taking the psychotic kickboxing class, I ended up pushing baby G in his stroller for a brisk walk along the beach. It was a beautiful day, but I could feel just the faintest nip of fall in the air, which doesn't show up around here until close to Thanksgiving.

I could barely wait to go home and look at my Michael's Crafts Sunday circular and start drooling over the Christmas decorations.

And I started thinking of family traditions. Our little family is still new. We've only been married for just shy of two years so we're figuring things out. Like who's in charge of taking the kids trick-or-treating (not me!) and where we spend New Year's.

Growing up, our holidays were pretty straight forward. We all piled into the car for a trip to the video store and then we each picked out a movie. My dad always got an old Western or musical, my brother and I got something we'd already seen five times, and my sister picked out something Disney, I'm sure. But my mom...

She always got the most violent, shoot-'em-up, swashbuckling, karate-chopping action she could find that was rated PG-13 or lower. It never occurred to me to ask why, considering that my mother in every way was a sweet, gentle, and peaceful soul. She had a glowing smile, a quiet voice, and a long fuse. Finally, a few years ago, I figured out that maybe her film bloodlust was a little out of character.

So I asked her, why? Why the Van Damme and Stallone flicks, the multiple viewings of Krull, the screeching car chases, the sword fights?

And she gave me an explanation that I never would have thought of. But should have. She was deaf and had to watch everything with closed captioning. She said, "Talking movies are boring. Blah, blah, blah. It's like reading a book. If I wanted to read a book, I'd read a book. In action movies, there's not so much talking. Much better." And all of this was accompanied by a super cute nose wrinkle at "talking movies" and an adorable little hand gesture at "blah, blah, blah."

I miss my cute little bloodthirsty mom.


LisAway said...

Nice title. And fun tradition. I love coming up with traditions for my own little family.

This is a cute and funny tribute to your mom, Melanie. Sounds like she was a great lady.

Annette Lyon said...

That is classic--I love it!

I went to an ASL camp once, and we "got" to watch a movie with only the closed captions. They (probably intentionally) picked Sister Act, which has tons of MUSIC in it. Yeah. Pretty boring to just read the lyrics.

Josi said...

LOL--that is too funny. I'd take a Stallone movie over Christmas decorations any day--I hate decorating for holidays. Bah Humbug indeed.

Anonymous said...

About one second before the denouement, I thought, "Wait, was it because she was deaf?" Up 'til then I was completely mystified.

I love how simple your holiday traditions were! Sometimes when we have those Relief Society or Enrichment Meeting conversations about "What new things would you like to add to your family's holiday traditions?," I feel like: "We do a Christmas tree, Christmas presents (for four kids, each other, and extended family,) stockings, family gatherings, ward party, neighborhood get-together, lights on the house, holiday treats, a reading of the Nativity story, Christmas cards . . . ISN'T THAT ENOUGH?!!!"

(Sorry for yelling. Obviously I have holiday issues that I am trying to work through.)

Mina said...

Great story about your mom, and great tradition. It's interesting how traditions evolve. That was something I didn't like about our early years of marriage. Nothing felt established. OF course, I still sometimes feel like we lack in traditions at our house. I guess I do very little routinely, even on an annual basis.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, boy, that does bring me back to the early years of marriage and all of the "border squirmishes". When you get married, it's like two countries making an alliance and then there follows all of this territorial stuff--who gets the border towns, you know? It's rough but you aren't 16 (I was a tad older than that) and dewey eyed (read: dumb and naive) like I was when I got married.

Nancy said...

I would love a brisk walk at the beach...Robb is planning a Pilgrim's Progress to the Beach t-day morning.
Today is the 5th anniversary since my Mom died. I remember that she was great to stick $10 in an envelope occasionally when we were first married. It saved our lives several times. Moms rock.
We made Christmas decorations out of a cardboard egg carton for our first Christmas. We still have one of those and we still have our 79 cent silver tinsel star.

*MARY* said...

I always rented Newsies. I think that would have suited your whole family's tastes.

Stephanie and Co. said...

Traditions are fun, I'm always trying to think of something new to do, but I think I get a little complicated sometimes.
This is a great post!

Kimberly said...

What a fab memory to have of your mum. Sounds like quite the character! And I like the movie selecting tradition. That's a neat one.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I like your noteook. And what a cute post. Do you miss your little bloodthirsty mom because she 's gone or because you're not near her?

I like your family tradition of renting movies. My kind of family.

Kristina P. said...

How did I miss this post? And I have Explorer and it looks like a cute notebook to me!

And I love all those movies. Just watched Die Hard the other night.

Alison Wonderland said...

I'ts too bad you were all mormon and stuff or you could have just gone with some good old fashioned porn. Um, I mean... Did I type that out loud?

What's with going back to the notebook? I like it but is there a reason?

Kenny, the husband said...

OK, I fixed the Firefox issue.

I'll send you my bill, sweetheart.


Sheryl said...

Wow, I am loving getting to know your mom. This post made me miss her too (and I didn't know her)