Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Childhood Reminiscing Session #2: The Time I Almost Drowned

All of us kids loved to swim when we were little.  Since we never had a pool, the highlights of our summers were spent in our neighbors' pools or the pools of charitable ward members who didn't mind a few screaming kids running around their backyards.  When we lived in the house on Stillwater Court, we were fortunate to have three friendly neighbors equipped with this luxurious amenity and we took advantage of it as much as we could.

On one particular day when I was five or six, my siblings and I suited up and walked down the street, towels slung over our shoulders, to enjoy a fun afternoon at the Dito family pool.  While the boys and my sisters were splashing away in the deep end of the pool, I stayed in the shallow end to practice my "Tea Party" skills.  If you don't remember that game, the rules are fairly simple: All the participants have to see how long they can sit Indian-style (or cross-legged, whatever the politically correct way to say that is now days) at the bottom of the pool before floating back up to the surface or running out of breath.  It's like you're having a "Tea Party" at the bottom of the pool. So I took a deep breath and plunged down to the bottom of the pool, propelling myself downward until my bum hit solid ground.  For some reason, this attempt was different than the others, mainly because it had worked just a little too well.  I was at the bottom of the pool looking up at the sun rays shining through the water, and even my little five-year old brain realized that I was not going to make it back to the surface without help.
Just as I was about to run completely out of air, someone grabbed me under my arms and pulled me out of the water.  My brother, Kiel, sat me down on the side of the pool, looked into my face, and said firmly, "Go home."  And I did.  I found my towel, wrapped it around my dripping body, and walked three houses down to my own front door.

Strangely enough, I don't remember being scared during the experience.  My little brush with death didn't seem out of the ordinary at all to me.  Afraid that Mom and Dad would bar us from swimming if I happened to mention that I nearly drowned that day, I chose not to say anything about it.  And we enjoyed many more afternoons at the neighbors' pool that summer and many more summers to come.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Little Drummer Boy

In Relief Society today, we talked about how many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy.  We are sometimes asked to do things that we think are far beyond our reach, that we don't possess the capability to accomplish them.

I recently heard a version of the Christmas carol Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix.  (If you have managed to stay ignorant of their music video even with the postings and repostings of it on Facebook, you can find the link below.)  I'll be honest, I've never really cared for this song.  I guess I had previously only heard the really cheesy versions they play on the radio sometimes.  But for some reason, this version allowed me to actually listen to the lyrics and realize what this song is all about.  I've listed them below (minus all of the "pa-rum-pum-pum-pums").

Come, they told me
A new born king to see.
Our finest gifts to bring
To lay before the King
So to honor Him
When we come.

Little baby,
I am a poor boy, too.
I have no gift to bring
That's fit to give our King.
Shall I play for you
On my drum?

Mary nodded.
The ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for him.
I played my best for him.
Then he smiled at me,
me and my drum.

This song is all about feeling inadequate.  It's about feeling like what you have to offer isn't good enough.  It's about seeing the talents and wealth of your peers and feeling like you will never measure up to their accomplishments.  But as this simple song suggests, it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, strong or weak, talented or seemingly ordinary.  It doesn't matter if all you have to offer up is a beat on a cheap drum.  As long as you give your best, it is enough.

Merry Christmas everyone!