Monday, March 16, 2009

O Farewell My Pride, I Shall Miss Thee

[Alternate title: If the shoe fits wear it, if you can find it, because the mighty uncomfortable road to hell is paved with good intentions.}

As you might imagine, getting six kids ready for church every week is a stressful event under the best of circumstances. During our weekly public presentation of the La Family, it's nice if everyone is wearing underwear and has been bathed in the last month. People are looking. Really they are. Every time I convince myself that no one cares what we look like, someone blows a hole in my delusion with a well placed comment. Or by an entire ad lib addition to a talk.

This week we had underwear, everyone was freshly bathed, and we even had clean church attire. And we were on track for a timely arrival. I was feeling good. Right up until shoe-time. Those shoes—those blasted, infuriating shoes—were our dilemma this week.

We do have a central location where the shoes belong. It is just not working out as well as I had hoped it would, not normally a big deal. I hardly ever wear shoes. I live in California. It's comfy to go shoeless.

Anyhow four of us had shoe crisises yesterday. Three of us experienced a happy ending to our crisis. Alas not I: I went to church barefoot this week. After thirty minutes looking for a pair of my own shoes that matched, I gave up. I found a dozen single shoes, and not a pair among them. What are the chances? Pretty high around here actually.

My teen and I wear the same size shoes so there are our two black holes bedrooms that swallow unwary soles. The baby loves shoes too. She carries them hither and yon, dropping one yon, the other hither. Sometimes I find my shoes in the toy sty box, sometimes outside, sometimes in the towel cabinet. Not this time.

This time I gave up looking for the shoes, bit the bullet and went to church shoeless. Attending church is more important than my pride. Right? Jesus would rather have me at church barefoot than blogging at home barefoot. Right? I need to go to church. Right? I can be reverent and barefoot. I can sit with my feet under my chair and no one will notice. Right? Right?

We came in twenty-five minutes late and sat in the very last row. The children immediately scattered to the far winds. Tithing slips. Bathroom. Drinks. In vain did I motion for them to return. So I took a couple deep cleansing breaths and settled down to hear the pleasing word of God, tucking my feet discretely beneath my chair.

The Stake President arose, began to praise punctuality for and reverence during Sacrament Meeting, wearing one's best in church, polishing one's shoes, etcetera. Um, I polished my feet with one of those little pedi-egg things on Saturday. I was wearing the best clean dress I owned. I intended to be on time. Surely, surely that counts.

I was squirming and thinking of the bad luck of my shoes going AWOL on our annual reverence Sunday. And then...and then...he said that he had gone on long enough and that he needed to move on to the talk he had written. ARG! This wasn't a planned talk. It was ad lib, ad hoc, directed right ad me.

I fought the urge to run home. I bit the bullet harder, held my head up high, and walked carefully through the crowded halls to Sunday School. The closest available seat was a couple of feet away from the Stake President. I sat.

Oh well. It really is more important to be at church than to have shoes on. Still, I think I'll find my shoes on Saturday next week.

16 comments:

Kristina P. said...

You are so brave! I would probably not go. And you clearly are more righteous than me.

Heidi Ashworth said...

For a while there, it was "the thing" (or dare I say "de riguer"?) for the young women to come to church barefoot. It was actually a pretty common sight. I do remember a time, as well, when a friend of mine came without shoes, too, but I don't remember exactly why--not sure if it was b/c she couldn't find them or what. Anyway, I so feel for you! Sometimes the trappings of life just gets to be too much! Personally, I would be freezing to death--I wore shoes AND tights to church yesterday--but I agree, it is more important to be there than have your shoes shod. It isn't as if you planned to lose your shoes or you knew you wouldn't be able to find a matching pair and just didn't bother to look. Is this comment too rambly? I feel like I'm rambling, here . . .

Annette Lyon said...

I'm betting he didn't even see your cute bare feet. That doesn't lessen the embarrassment, though.

Fiona said...

aha! you are a truly dedicated!

Melanie J said...

Yeah, I have to get the boys ready by myself on Sundays and I have nearly done murder over my older son's mysterious disappearing shoes. So now I just set them out on Sunday because I might kill him if I don't.

Heather of the EO said...

I'm just feeling bad that you had to feel bad about being late and not wearing shoes. You were there. You have a heart of gold and you truly seek to love with the love of Jesus. I know that from your blog. I'm hoping people in real life know that even more.

So therefore go barefoot into your Sundays with confidence because of grace.

Six kids is a lot, making being on time and shoes irrelevant. :)

Heidi Ashworth said...

Sorry, I meant your FEET shod. Geez. My brain is going on vacation without my permission! I don't like it!

Jo said...

You are a better Mormon than me. That sounds like a good excuse to stay home!

mindyluwho said...

I'd say the Lord probably threw a couple of extra blessings into your bin for your devotion Jami!

I did go to church with two different shoes once. Not intentionally though. I was pregnant and in a hurry and it was hard to see my shoes over my belly and so didn't notice the discrepancy until I got home and was sitting on my sofa with my feet out in front of me. Fortunately they were both dark so hopefully no one noticed! Or if they did they were too polite to say anything!

Ardis Parshall said...

I want to know if you have spent this afternoon rounding up a pair of shoes for tomorrow, and if you have them under lock and key to keep them safe from your baby? :)

Jami said...

Oh no, Ardis. I like to hold off til ten at night to do things like that. Don't want to get too diligent. People wouldn't recognize me.

susette said...

I'm coming over from Mormon Mommy Blogs, asking for your help. I am in the running for a round trip airfare paid ticket to Connecticut, to meet a friend I became acquainted with through blogging. She is a super fun person and is holding this contest. I entered a funny story titled "Grapejuice Floaties, Now Marry Me." The person whose story receives the most votes will win a trip to meet this generous lady, whom I'm hoping to meet. The voting ends tonight-midnight. I used to be ahead but there is a story coming up from behind out of nowhere, and it's a tight race now. I would so much appreciate your help. Her blog is www.becausemomsaidso.blogspot.com and the voting is on the sidebar on the right. "Grapejuice, Floaties" Just go there and cast a vote for me, please. Thanks so much-you're awesome! ♥♥

Tristi Pinkston said...

Clean underwear on everyone? And bathed, too? Hey, I'll give you double points for that, and that totally erases any negative points for the no-shoes thing.

Wendy said...

I think the answer to all your problems is a personal assistant! One should really come automatically with the fourth or fifth child, in my opinion. When I win the lottery, I'll put that/you on my to-do list!

SWIRL said...

LOL!
I have had my kids go shoe-less... but I never thought it would happen on the mainland... I thought that was just what we did here in the islands..

you are brave... better to be at church shoe-less than home.

I loved it- you all had underwear.. clean church clothes...
you hang in there!

6k9s said...

I love you,feet naked or covered. I kiss and hug you in virtual space.