Keith 2.0

After church today, the kids and I made some popcorn and settled in the family room to watch some movies. Jeffrey was still at the church taking care of things as per his calling, and so it was me, and the kids. A Little Princess was on, which is one of my favorite movies, so we watched the tail-end of it. The bit that always makes me cry. The kids thought it was hilarious to see me sniffling away at the movie, but they don't remember it from the beginning, and didn't know that he was her dad, and he didn't remember her, and she was sobbing for her to help him...

Anyway, it was nice sharing that movie with them, even though they don't get it. Really, though, we were just waiting for the First Presidency Christmas Devotional to begin. It is a lovely meeting where the First Presidency shares a beautiful Christmas message, and I have missed it the past few years, so I was eager to watch it tonight. 

It was beautiful.

More beautiful than that, though, was Keith. He squished in next to me on the Luvsac, and honestly was practically on top of me, but I didn't mind. He doesn't want to cuddle much anymore, so I take every moment with him I can. I had my arm around him, and was holding his hand. He was keeping my hands and my feet warm, and I was honestly just soaking in the Keith love. We have a game where I squeeze his hand three times. It means "I love you." I do it just about any time he still lets me hold his hand. And so during the devotional, he began playing that game, but more elaborate. He squeezed my hand five times and said it means "I love you so much." I returned four squeezes with "I love you more," and so the game went on. Keith is a very introspective child. He doesn't share his feelings often. He keeps things to himself a lot, and I often have a hard time figuring out what he is thinking. It was such a rare experience to have him open up like that, and I cherish it with all my heart.

I think part of the reason he is being so open with his feelings tonight, is because of yesterday.

Yesterday he made the decision to be baptized and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I am so proud of him! It was a rough day, actually. Murphy's law was in full effect. We were going to have all the family over to our house for cookies and cocoa after the baptism, as is the custom, except I did not have any energy. I was so tired, and my motivation, though I wanted it, simply was not there. I think I was overwhelmed. But my house never quite got cleaned. Luckily, I had been able to reserve the church building, and so in the end, we simply decided to do everything over there. Of course, when it came down to it, we couldn't find Keith's church shoes, so he had to wear his tennies. And when we were about to walk out the door, we were gathering towels and everything, it dawned on us that Keith doesn't own white underwear. It isn't something I would ever have thought about, but it dawned on me that it might be something he would need. We headed out with the intention to stop by the store, but by the time we actually got out of our house and on our way, it was nearly a quarter to the hour when his baptism meeting was supposed to begin, so we decided to forget about it (he would just have to not wear anything beneath the jumpsuit. There was no other way around it) and head straight to the church. We wanted to get some family pictures before everything began. Except the building was locked. Which it shouldn't have been, but it was. The bishop arrived about five minutes after we did, and he immediately got on the phone and began checking around to make sure everything was going to work for us (namely, the font was filled, and our only hiccup was the building was locked). He drove to someone's house, got some keys and was able to let us all in. And things were chaos a bit. There were a lot of kids, and the kids did what kids do when they are together.

We did get our family pictures taken, plus, Beth's best friend decided she is a part of our family (she practically is, anyway) and joined in the pictures. I think it is adorable, and laughed so much when I saw the photo. Also, Keith, Faye, and Jeffrey all have the same uncomfortable smile. That made me laugh so much, too. 

And then there was the picture with Keith and Faye, and my heart melted.

The love these two have for each other is heartwarming. Keith commented on the way to school the other day that he can't wait until Faye is in first grade, so that he can play with her at recess. Faye has said on a number of occasions that Keith is her best friend, her favorite person in the world to play with. They are so close, those two, and I hope they always stay that close.

But honestly, I didn't care about the hiccups. All that mattered to me was the baptism and the confirmation. Jeffrey baptized Keith. He had told me earlier that day that this was all that mattered. This moment was more important than Christmas. More important than all the Christmases or birthdays or anything else that we celebrate or stress over. It was more important than anything else. He had been thinking about and preparing for this day from the moment we learned we were expecting Keith. After nearly 9 years, it was finally happening, and it was precious and amazing that it was finally here. 

Jeffrey was then able to confirm Keith a member of the Church, and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have only seen Jeffrey cry once in my entire time of knowing him. I have known him since we were in junior high. The one time was when we were in the emergency room with Beth, and we were scared that she could be seriously injured or the terror of not knowing if we could lose her. But yesterday, I saw Jeffrey cry again, and it may be the most exquisite thing I have ever witnessed. And the joy that swelled my heart is indescribable. I am so very proud of that young man of mine! He is such an old soul, and he understands things more deeply, and better than most boys his age. I feel like he really understands the covenants he is making, and the importance of those steps he took yesterday. 

Today, I really wanted a bit of a lie in. Beth had gotten up early, and come into my room. She put her cold feet all over me, and kept pushing until I was nearly pushed out of the bed. Jeffrey had gotten up much earlier to help Keith with something so that he and I could actually sleep in, and when he went back to sleep, he chose to lay down with Faye because Beth takes great delight in stealing people's places, and she had taken his. She eventually got up and headed to the kitchen. In my half asleep state, something in the back of my brain wouldn't let me sleep and I kept verbally checking on Beth.

"Beth, what are you doing?"
"I'm eating cereal."
"Oh, okay. Good girl." 

And then I would nearly go back to sleep. But then I remembered we didn't have any cereal. Faye and Keith came through my room right then, and I asked them what she was doing. "Eating Cool-whip," they responded, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I asked them to take it away from her. 5 minutes later they were back with the report that she was eating the brown sugar. I asked them to take it away from her. 5 minutes later they were back informing me that she was into the marshmallows. And then I realized. She must have an internal sugar detector, because how she was able to find all those things, within minutes of things being taken away was quite miraculous.

There is no wrong way to eat a Reeces.
I realized that there was no helping it, Beth needed breakfast and so I would have to bid my dreams adieu and get up to make breakfast. When I got into the kitchen, the sweet carnage that met me was devastating. She had dumped all my real vanilla into a nearly empty bowl of mashed potatoes, thus making it impossible to save. *sob* The cookies that had been made for the baptism were completely gone, and she was standing on the counter, cupboard doors open, foraging for sweets. That was my cue to make eggs for breakfast.

After breakfast Keith and Faye decided to draw in a notebook together. It was impressive to see them sharing the same book, drawing on separate pages, and not fighting at all! We cleaned up after the sweet devastation and breakfast, and then it dawned on me. Today was Fast Sunday. I can't fast due to the pregnancy, so I forget about it a lot. But it would have been Keith's first time ever, actually fasting! I felt so bad that I had completely neglected to help him with that! We decided that he could fast for the rest of the day, until dinner time. He knelt down, then and there, and offered up such a sweet prayer! He asked for forgiveness for forgetting to fast, mentioned his purpose for fasting, and then began his fast. When we got home from church, I asked the kids what we should make for dinner, and Keith said "It doesn't matter, I can't eat. I am fasting." My heart puddled right then and there! I told him to go and break his fast with a prayer (taught him how to do it), and then I began preparations for dinner. How sweet that he had remembered, and that he had stayed true to his fast! That boy, seriously! He is SO good!

Which leads us back to all of the sweet cuddling with him. I think the culmination of everything from yesterday and today really helped Keith to be able to open up a bit. Every scripture that was mentioned in the Christmas devotional, he wanted to look up in his new scriptures. He makes me so happy and proud, and just bursting! There isn't another boy like him in all the world, and what amazing luck that I, of all people, get to be his mother, and get to learn from him every single day. I know the sweet cuddling and being open wont last, but I will take every rare moment that he offers me, and cherish it with all my heart.

 I love that boy beyond words!

*squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!*


Lisa said…
Will you come teach my children to be so good? Please! What a wonderful weekend. Congrats to Keith!
Susan Anderson said…
I loved this. Every aspect of it.


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