Today was one of those days that blogs were created for. It started like any other Mother's Day - failed attempt at French Toast (dang Alton Brown recipe), simple purple flowers in a vase for Heather, Sophie peeing while she took a nap (not a big deal), sans clothes (still, not a big deal), sans diaper (a bit of a mess), Heather practicing for her Sacrament meeting piano debut on a day that was supposed to be stress-free, and Molly practicing for her Sacrament meeting singing debut through Mother's Day favorites of "Mother Dear" and "Mother, I Love You." She had some practice from church and some at home because of Heather's calling as the Primary pianist. The rendition before church was a harbinger of her performance during Sacrament meeting with the other Primary children. It was loud. But it was proud. I should have known that our little sunbeam would shine brightest when the spotlight was on her. We warned that she needed to tone it back a little when she goes live, but this didn't stop her.
We had everything set for the Sacrament meeting debut of mother and daughter. After the first speaker, we told her that she's on deck. We held off feeding Sophie snacks, but got them ready for the impending meltdown that was going to happen once her sister and my better half left for the podium. As the time came for them to go up, our planned distraction somewhat worked and Sophie was placated with a cocktail of fruit snacks and a squeeze-it applesauce. The one thing I wasn't really prepared for was Molly.
As Heather started the prelude music, Molly's voice boomed out the anthem of her Mother's devotion to a blushing father and laughing-under-their-breath audience. Without missing a beat or the desired-decibel level, she got back on track with the chorus of Primary kids, who knew the words a little bit better than our little sunbeam. This borderline freelancing shrill would continue to recalibrate with the others after every other phrase. At this time, I was holding back Sophie who wanted to join in on the fun. I was also holding back laughter that continued to creep out with every enthusiastic "Mother Dear." I was holding back a weird mix of pride and embarrassment that manifested itself through the colors pink, then red, then a purplish magenta that deepened in intensity with each unrestrained word.
As the first song ended and before the second one started, and I got my laughter and color under control, Molly belted, "It's Mother's Day!!!" This was not rehearsed, solicited, or expected, but caused the congregation to take their laughing-under-the-breath level to full-blown-laughter. The second half of the performance was not seen by me, since I had to look away from breaking out into that level of uncontrollable laughter that anything could set you off. After half of the song was sung, I stole a glance up on the stage and I saw Molly singing proudly looking at me. As she saw that I was watching, she waved, which caused a wave back from Sophie and me. I have been in several primary programs where there were kids that made the show. But I've never thought of that context from the perspective of the parent. It was such an interesting mix of terror, laughter, embarrassment, and pride. I caught myself telling Molly after her performance, that next time she should just try to sing like the other kids are singing. In retrospect, I really regretted saying that.
The reviews of the show were outstanding. Someone said Molly made the performance while another said she stole the show. Someone messaged us to say it made their day. We heard that it was so cute it made a couple older ladies tear up. Our just released bishop, Facebooked to tell us that Heather 'totally won Mother's Day. Molly was so so cute.' She got probably 15 individual compliments from ward members on the way to Primary, and she even got a call from someone that wanted to thank her for making her Mother's Day. She said it was the best Mother's Day singing performance that she had ever seen. It was a fun day to be a parent.