Friday, May 01, 2009

Parker House and Orange Rolls...






"I am a woman, therefore when I think I must speak."
(Shakespeare, As You Like It)

I woke up crying at 3:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. It could just be the pregnancy hormones. Or maybe not. My mind was filled with my Grandparent's house. It is heaven on earth and now I and my children are away from it. Growing up, it was one of my main pillars in my self-definition: "I am a Tanner, I can do anything." This pretty much stemmed from Grandma's house.

Most Sunday evenings growing up:

Open the door to G.ma and G.pa's house to be greeted with hugs, kisses, and love without measure and the delicious aroma of Parker house and Orange rolls in the oven. Everyone knew your latest victories or sorrows. All offered congrats or support.

One day in High School, my mother's latest concern was that I was not kissing the boys I went out with. Of course, it soon became general family knowledge and the evening pursued with several unexplained comments of "It's okay Kristen, you can kiss the boys." (Yes, I do recall both grandparents issuing this confirmation as well!) All was open to be a family affair, and it did not feel invasive- it felt wonderful to belong to a whole completely vested in looking out for each others' best interests. Zion, I guess. Now, we were far from perfect- watch out when political talk got rolling or Bilbo came along for BBQ's, grandma's treat closet was nearly bare by the end of every big visit, and I am quite sure there was a good reason her cat hid from me, but I can't recall why (don't all cats love a 6 year old hunting them down to play house?).

But that house- full of sleepovers in the pink room, hours playing with cousins, adventures crossing the canal behind the house, watching Ewoks, sitting on Santa's lap, cornucopia next to each china plate for Thanksgiving, caramel cakes after birthday shopping, and Klondike bars after BBQ's-- it was Heaven. You knew you were unequivocally loved and important. There was a genuine faith in the Lord that had a crowning dedication to the supremacy of the attribute of love- enduring and unfeigned.

Now, the part that made my heart ache early this morning is that right now I can't give that to my kids. I can give them love and happiness here in our home, but where do we go for the family gatherings that tell them that they are part of a large, supportive whole that thinks they are wonderful? Where do they gather with cousins to play and Aunts and Uncles to hug and kiss them to death as they cross through the front door? It breaks my heart that I can't give my children one of the greatest joys of my childhood each Sunday.

So, maybe it is the pregnancy hormones and maybe not. I guess it is time for me to start investing in my own Parker house and Orange rolls.

9 comments:

Morgan and Joel said...

Kris, what a sad thing. Please take comfort from one who is proud to be a Tanner and loves our family dearly....

I didn't grow up going every Sunday to Grandma's house. I never lived in Utah until I went to the U and as soon as I graduated a couple years later, I was gone again. BUT I still have the memories. I know that I am grandpa's favorite. I know that grandma is killer at making those caramel cakes, as well as the holiday foods of chex mix, fudge, caramels, lemon bars. I remember taking off the tops of the beds in the pink room and using them as microphones. And I know that when I do walk into their house, it is familiar, and comfortable, and peaceful, a place of love. Even though your kids aren't there, doesn't mean that they are not going to benefit from the love and blessings of our family. I turned out fairly normal...I think :)

One thing that is nice here in Oregon is that our ward truly is our family. Jack and Sage have several "grandparents" that love and spoil them. I have "sisters" "aunts" and "nieces" who I love dearly. And they laugh with me and help me and cry with me and care about me. I love when my parents come to visit because I get to introduce my families to each other. And I'm so proud of both of them.

Sorry so lengthy, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone. And it makes seeing family even sweeter. Yes, I usually cry when my mom and dad have to go back home, but it is okay. We are already planning the next visit. And there are others who are there to help fill that hole. I love you Kristen. Looking forward to the Tetons!

Britt Wright said...

how can i write anything more than Morgan wrote. It is perfect!! What I love about the Tanner Clan is the love that we share. Grandma and Grandpa are great examples of never-ending love and acceptance of everyone! They truly believe that family comes first and that is felt by everyone. We have such an awesome family!!!!

Oh, and by the way....all I have to say is that I am greatful I went on Weight Watchers. =)

April and John Meaders said...

I know how it feels. Here in Tulsa we don't have Sunday dinners, to go to and we miss it even though we have no children. I remember thinking we always had a place to go (When we lived in Utah) every Sunday either John's family or my family. We used have to fight our families so that we could just have an alone Sunday night. Its really funny to think about now. We have been trying to think of new ways to have a more 'Family' Sunday nights. We have started to invite people over for desert. Cause I am not ready to cook a big meal for anyone else beside John and our missionaries. Plus it is cheaper and almost all the desert is gone by the time everyone leaves. So you don't have to eat it all. But I know it still is not the same, you and Glen have a safe heaven for your children even without the rest of your family though. Love to see your blog it almost feels like we are talking on my new couches right now. Love ya babe. ;) April

TysonandMarthaGerber said...

Kristen,

I know you already give that love and memories with your family. You are wonderful. Keep loving and keep remembering the sweetness of family.

zaharacafe said...

Kristen, I am sooooo with you. I do not think it is just hormones. Even though I did not grow up with grandparents, my maternal grandma passed away shortly after I was born and all the other three passed away long before I was even born, I experienced the joy from a big family. Our house was the one that acted as the grandparents' house for all our aunties and uncles and cousins. It makes me very very sad that I am so far away from Sana's grandparents, on both sides. Imran always says that if and when parents come over, Sana will be living in heaven. Let's pray that all our elder folks stay as healthy as can be. Thank you for such a nice post!

JDF said...

Let's get together and I'll teach you how to make bread. It isn't hard, and then you can re-start the tradition in your own home. Nothing says, "You are loved" better than the smell of home-baked bread

Glennard said...

Hey there JDF, I don't know who you are. Please identify yourself so you can teach us how to make these orange rolls! WE NEED OUR ORANGE ROLLS!!

vickiticki said...

Thank you for posting this Kristen!... I have empathy... even to tears...what comes next, I wasn't going to post, but changed my mind after erasing it the first time;o! When Joe and I moved to Korea we made a promise to God that we would treat everyone that came into our home like they were family. We also asked that he would send others that would treat our children in the same way. There are so many people that need that love, even if it is for an evening. It has been a great blessing in our lives to look at missionaries and others that come in that way... wonderful things have happened. I think you already have that kind of home. The Lord uses what little we have and makes it useful in much bigger ways... we know, we have received the kindness in return a hundred fold. I'm grateful for the past Sunday dinners at my folks home... perhaps this is just an extension of it. See you in June!

Karalea-Karalea said...

You have a wonderful ward family that can fill the void....not replace, mind you, but fill the void. We are in the same boat, not ONE family member within a 7 hour radius, but as we grow in and learn to love and serve those in our ward, they become our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It's a true blessing to be part of a larger family when you are so very far away from those closest to you!