birthday...praise a job well done...reward a goal achieved...or simply say "You Are Special Today." When the Red Plate is used, any meal becomes a celebration honoring that special person, event or deed. It is a visible reminder of love and esteem. This is a way of showing someone dear to you that they are appreciated and remembered.” http://www.mommysavers.com/c/t/5470/red-plate-poem
Years ago I was given a red plate and this week I had many reasons to use it.
We were in Mexico last weekend so no one did their assigned Saturday chores. Given that it had not been cleaned the week prior and that the entire family brought an intestinal bug home, the toilet was rather nasty. Monday Miles approached me, armed with Clorox spray, a rag, and plastic gloves. A determined gleam in his eye, he said, "I am not leaving the toilet dirty until next Saturday," and then he launched his attack. The resulting clean toilet and the fact that he voluntarily cleaned
it--heck, even the fact that he noticed that it was dirty--is worth a Red Plate celebration in my house.
On Tuesday Miles said, "Mom, I had a successful fart today.". I guess to that point all of his farts had been liquid bubbles, rather than gas. We did not use a Red Plate for that celebration.
Jill and Kurt Gibson went to Alaska without their two sons, AJ (4) and Griffin (2). Grace and Tanah, who adore the two boys, moved into the Gibson home and mothered the two boys for three days. When she returned to our home Tanah said, "I learned something Mom." Oh? "Don't get me wrong," she began, "I love the boys and all but I really learned something.". Yes? "I learned that I am NOT ready to be a Mom.".
I thought I was doing Jill a favor by letting her have my girls for three days (someone had to do all their chores while they were gone and that someone was not any of the males who were left in the household) but now I think I might owe Jill a favor instead, a red plate treat at the very least. Having a 15 year old recognize that she is not ready to be a mom is worth
During his talk about righteous activities, Kyle Carpenter, a brilliant, insightful member of our ward, said over the pulpit that reading my blog was, for him, a righteous activity. The comment made my month. Give that man a Red Plate!!
I had to laugh (the alternative was to sob) as I sat in Wright and Carole's congregation in Seattle on Sunday. A kindly soul, recognizing that I was a visitor, said to me, "You are Carole's mother, right?". [Carole and I served missions together; she and I are the same age.] Laughter is something to celebrate, right?
The ward is doing a 40 day fast; every day for 40 days someone in the ward will be fasting. We, collectively, are fasting for ward members who are sick, who need gainful employment, and who are struggling to find Christ. We are also fasting for our youth, our leaders, and our missionaries. Tuesday was my day. As I began the fast, I felt the mantle of responsibility fall upon me; I was the torch bearer, leading the ward's charge, trusted by the ward members to do my part. It reminded me of a
time in seminary, long, long ago, when the instructor asked the class to choose a champion, someone who would complete a difficult task for the class. If the champion succeeded, the entire class would win. If the champion failed, the entire class failed. I was selected to tackle the task. I remember staying up into the late hours of the night trying to solve the problem. I remember being totally overwhelmed, hopelessly frustrated, and wanting desperately to quit but being compelled forward by the knowledge that my classmates were depending on me. I did end up completing the task and the class was appreciative. I still have the rock figurine that James Wilding made me, dressed in a royal blue Sugar-Salem track sweat suit and sporting running shoes. Once again, more than 30 years later, I was the day's champion, motivated by a higher cause. This time, however, the task's path was different. The fast was easy and my day peaceful. Though I did normal Tuesday things, iwas as if I were somehow set apart, certainly here physically but somehow protected from the cares and pulls of the world as if I were in a large, transparent bubble. Though I did not end my fast with a meal on the Red Plate, I did end it celebrating my
opportunity to worship my Savior and to feel His love.
We interviewed for and awarded the Traditional Family Values Scholarship Wednesday. All of the interviewees were thoroughly impressive people but one man clearly stood out. Jeremy has a 2 year old daughter with brittle bone disease; the slightest bump causes fractures. In fact, he was late to his interview with us because he'd been in the Logan ER with her, setting her broken femur and tibia. She already has rods in both femurs and a tibia: the rod in her femur prevented the break from being worse. In addition, he just had a cancerous thyroid removed and is beginning the treatment associated with that. His was not a sob story; he was clearly calm and just as clearly dedicated to doing whatever it took to provide for his wife and daughter. Incredible story, incredible family. We were so pleased to be able to offer him our scholarship.
Interviewing folks for the scholarship is so gratifying because they are so incredulously grateful. "I've never heard of a scholarship for families," they say, "It is an honor just to apply.". Jeremy said, "I often see scholarships for this group or that group but I never qualify for any of those groups. Finally I found a group that fits." As a white male his options for scholarship options are significantly reduced though his need and merit are clearly evident. Celebrating the chance to meet
his need and recognize his merit is certainly a Red Plate event.
[FYI: The Tradition Family Values Scholarship fund is relatively small. We have only about $3,000 to award each year. WSU tuition is about $6000 annually. If you would like to help meet the needs and recognize the merit of families who live traditional values, please contribute to our fund by sending your donation, labeled "Traditional Family Values Scholarship" to the Weber State Scholarship Office, Sherri Melton, Financial Aid & Scholarship Office, Weber State University, Student Service Bldg., Rm 120, Ogden, UT 84408-1136 ]
On our way to a soccer game, we stopped at a convenience store to ask for directions. Our van window was down as was the window of the large pickup parked two feet from us. We could not NOT hear the conversation the truck's driver was having on his cell phone. During the course of his chat with his dad the driver utilized some vulgar language, including several f-bomb droppings. As we pulled out of the parking lot Mr. Miles said, "He swore, didn't he Mom?". Yes, son. "Did he say the f word?". Yes, son. "Oh," he said sadly, "Now I know what the f word is.". Bring out that Red Plate! I want to celebrate a nine year old boy who did not and does not want to know what the f word is. It is still possible to teach and live traditional family values in this incredible, beautiful world that is so often garnished with filth and slime.
May your week be filled with traditional family values and Red Plate celebrations!