Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 8 Year Old Swim

Back in aught-five there was an explosion of babies.  Just in August, came my son and 3 girl cousins.  Four months later 2 more cousins arrived, yet another girl and finally a boy.  With cousins spread here and there, we were able to track down at least one to share a special day with....8 years later.

I remember my baptism day.  A couple of months prior, my mom was visiting a woman in our neighborhood with a daughter a year older than me.  They didn't come to church very often, so I'm not sure why I took the girl as an expert.   "When you are baptized, anything bad that you have done is completely erased from your memory!" she announced.

I pressed her as we played with her barbie house.  To this day, I can't remember what it was that she had done, but whatever it was it dissolved like butt-ah on a hot pancake the moment she was immersed underwater.  It was magic!

From that moment on, I latched on to my sins that I knowingly had committed.  We grow up in families and learn to share and get along and fight, I'm not talking about that stuff.  I'm talking about knowing better and choosing the other way.

Sin #1) I stole a small handful of Swedish fish from Porter's Variety Store.  I loved them sooo much, and my mom wouldn't buy them, and they were right there in front of my face.  I took them, and was quickly busted and escorted back to the store where my sins were publicly confessed and a dime was given to the cashier.

Sin #2) Knowing that I was getting baptized in a year, I remember visiting my Aunt and Uncle's house in Blackfoot.  Sitting on their couch with my cousin Quinn, I busted out every swear word I could think of.  I did this knowing these words were bad, and that once I was baptized they would be permanently off-limits.  That consisted of the following: shit, damn, and hell. 

{Now when I mutter these under my breath, I'm proud of myself for not dropping a double-fudge brownie like I heard a million times a day when working at a ski resort (exclamation, adjective, greeting).} 

So I was excited for the big day, I was ready and wanted to follow Jesus.  I also knew that He was powerful and that on my baptism day I would witness my first of many miracles.  I waded into the font, excited to see my dad, and got ready to be baptized and have my sins washed away.  

As the prayer was said, I fixated on my Swedish Fish Fiasco.  I reminisced the details of the store, the chewy release of raspberry? strawberry? Sweden?  The pounding of my heart as I knew I was taking something without paying, and then it was time!  I took a big gasp of air, plugged my nose, and bent my knees for a smooth ride.  Down I went, under blue, waiting for the magic of baptism and my sins to not only be washed away, but scrambled from my brain forever.

Up I came and took a new breath, happy but confused.  In case you didn't notice, I have been describing my former sins approximately 30 years later.  That means when I came up out of the water as my new 8 year-old self, there it still was, like an out-of-town uncle that took over your bedroom for a week and was supposed to be gone yesterday.  I don't mind you, but I thought I was getting my bed back?

The main thing is: I didn't steal anymore Swedish Fish.  As for sin #2? I'm doing pretty damn good at watching my language.  Every now and then in a moment of unbridled stress, something slips out.  But for the most part, we're just hugging on the kids and praising God in our heart.

But like I said, that was 30 years ago.  And today?  Well, who knows what my Vanilla Wafer was thinking about when he went in the water.  I'm hoping it was something more along the lines of: Heavenly Father loves me!  I want to follow the Savior! The gospel gives you power and happiness!

Here's Leif and Eliza with Grandma and Grandpa Cozy!  Grandpa confirmed Leif an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and commissioned the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

We had family from Idaho, Salt Lake, and Draper.  It was so great to have such awesome family support.
 Mmmmmm....kissy kissy.

 The Olsen's in 2013 look like this.

Here's the dude that baptized me!  My papa gave such a great talk during the service.  He has always been funny and wise!

And here is the guy that confirmed The Mister of the House.  We are so blessed to have Grandma and Grandpa "Kitty" close to us.   Grandpa often says how much he thinks Leif looks like he did as a kid.  Good to know, since he looks nothing like me!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful entry. You have such a way with words. You probably don't remember this, but after Monica was baptized, you climbed up on your dad's lap and said, "you smell like baptism." I thought that was so cute. You are a blessing in our lives. Love mom

Aimee said...

How I truly wish we could have been there! I love the pictures...especially the kissing one and the Grandpa and Grandma Kitty close up. What did Herm do to his foot?!

LGH said...

Amber' I've said it before and I'm sure I will again... You are an incredible writer.. You are so honest and so inspiring. I'll be first in line... Right after your mother to buy your first book... This was really a marvelous blog post... Thanks for these wonderful words.

Angenette said...

This was a fun post.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm craving Swedish fish. My kids still think Porter's is the best place ever, despite the sad lack of penny candy anymore. Congrats to Vanilla!

Sasha said...

I love, Love, LOVED this!