Monday, February 27, 2012

You'll stay up till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!

(Warning:  I have the potential with this post to mortify one of my brothers, while simultaneously offending my mom and dad.  Let's home I do neither.)

I told this story to the primary children back in January.  I was teaching the second verse of the song, As a Child of God, which says:

I feel so safe and happy because
such feelings of peace come from family love

I wanted to make the point that our families can be a place where we can feel happy and safe together, and that everyone in the family, even a little child can make a difference in the amount and intensity of family love there.

It went well,  and I've been meaning to write it down here, just so I can have a record of it.  You see, it's a really good story.

So, here goes:

* * *

quirky 2-12
Me and Bobby, back in the days when sparkly blue shorts were the epitome of awesomeness.

When I was a little girl, I had the meanest parents in the whole world.  Let me tell you why.  See, every Saturday morning, I had to do Saturday jobs!  Can you believe that?  I had to either clean the kitchen, or dust and vacuum the living room, or pick up and vacuum the family room, AND I had to scrub one of the bathrooms, AND I had to make sure my own bedroom was all clean.  I could watch cartoons in the morning for a little while, but once breakfast was over, all the kids in my family had to get to work on Saturday jobs.  We HATED them!   We just wanted to play and have fun, and instead of doing that, we had to work for a whole hour every Saturday, and sometimes even more.  It was so hard.

Well, one year, I was looking at the calendar, and I discovered a terrible thing.  I discovered that my birthday that year was going to be on a Saturday.  Oh tragedy!  I would have to do Saturday jobs on my birthday!   Could there be anything worse?  I knew that even if it was my birthday, the house would still need to be cleaned, and so I wouldn't be able to get out of doing my jobs on that day.  I was totally bummed out about it, but I decided that I would just have to come up with a plan.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided that I would ask my mom if I could do my Saturday jobs on Friday after school instead of Saturday.  She said that would be fine, so I was glad that I'd be able to get those jobs over with and have a birthday with no Saturday jobs in it.

Well, the Friday before my birthday came.  I got home from school, and I was just getting the vacuum cleaner out of the hall closet when my younger brother Bobby found me.  He had been looking for me, even though I didn't know it.  He saw me with the vacuum cleaner and he told me to stop what I was doing.  I told him that I wasn't going to stop because I wanted to get my Saturday jobs done so I could have a nice easy birthday the next day.

Then he told me that for his birthday present to me, he would do my Saturday jobs.


The next day, my brother did all my Saturday jobs, AND all of his Saturday jobs.  None of us liked to do Saturday jobs, and that day my brother did twice as many as any of the other kids ever had to do.  I got to have an easy day with no Saturday jobs at all.  When I think about birthday presents, that one is maybe the best birthday present I've ever received.  I'm sure you can see why.

There's something else about this story that I want to tell you, maybe the most important part.  See, when Bobby and I were little, sometimes we would fight and quarrel about things.  Sometimes we would even hit each other and do other mean things like that.  But, when Bobby did my Saturday jobs for me, it made me realize that he and I, we were on the same team.  I felt like we were together, and that our whole family was together, and that we would take care of each other.  Just like the song says, it made me feel safe and happy, and loved.

That feeling has carried though the rest of my life.  My brothers and sisters and parents are some of my very very very best friends.  I love to see them, and I love to talk with them.  But best of all, I feel totally safe with them because I know that we are all on the same team, that we will take care of each other and do everything we can to keep each other safe and happy.  And for me, a big part of that started when my little brother did my Saturday jobs all for me.

The End.


You know what to do!  

(And if you don't, read here)

5 points for the name of the song
2 points for the name of the musical
other points awarded as whims dictate


Jeri said...

Annie - it's a hard knock life - miss hannigan sings it (aka Carol Burnett!)

Jeri said...

one of my favorite memories with my little sister involves this movie. we spent a couple nights up at my aunts house and she had this video. we watched it over and over and over... like 12 times or something insane like that. We still laugh about that weekend and anytime we hear a some from Annie we both say "hey, remember that time at aunt karens..."

I think bobby gets automatic points for this post, just for doing those saturday jobs - what an AWESOME, amazing, loving, memorable birthday present!

Mom C said...

I think I may have mentioned this in previous years. Becca was an orphan in SUU's production of Annie, Marian was an orphan in Grand Junction's production of Annie. I made hats for SUU's production. Brian Vaughn was in Annie.
That's a great story!
I know you all hated Saturday jobs, I hated doing them when I was growing up and hated making you all do them. I dreaded Saturday AMs. But I knew the lessons I learned helped shaped me and they were important and so much easier to learn in the shelter of a safe home than in any other setting. I remember thinking and saying, "it's easier to just do it myself." And I hear you young mothers saying it now too. All I can say is, Yes it is easier, and quicker, and the house looks better, but our job is to teach, teach useful skills and life lessons and how to find joy and satisfaction in everything. Even cleaning that toilet!
One of my favorite Saturday jobs (if that's possible) was washing the kitchen windows. I'd pretend I was washing car windows at the gas station, a job that no longer exists. The other was doing the front room. I would put on Broadway musical records and sing my way through the dusting and vacuuming. I was Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand and everyone else.
So I was mean because I loved you. There's a great article in the Ensign about helicopter parents and doing too much for your kids. I don't think anyone would accuse Dad or I of that!

Robert said...

I don't know what it says about me but I have no recollection of that. Of coarse I don't have any recollection of a lot of my childhood. Although, it's nice to know that it's not just bad things that I've forgotten and that I was occasionally nice to at least one of my siblings.

Charlotte said...

Yippee! It's begun!!

Jeri gets 7 points for musical and song. Also, 1 whim point for Carol Burnett, and another whim point for watching the video 12 times in the course of one weekend. Another point, since she did it with her sister, and this post is all about family love.

Total points: 10

Mom gets 2 whim points for enduring with us for Saturday jobs all those years, and being one of the reasons this experience even happened. Another whim point for having a daughter and grand-daughter that have participated in this play, and another for making hats for the production. You could have gotten another point if you had remembered that I played in the pit orchestra when CHS did the show (was that when Becca was an orphan?), but alas, you forgot that critical piece of my life.

Total points: 4

Robert has 3 points waiting for him for being the #1 reason this post was even written, but he'll have to show up here to claim them. We'll see . . .

Charlotte said...

Our comments crossed in cyberspace.

3 points to Robert.

Since you don't have the steel-trap childhood memory that I do, I'll just say that you were probably as nice to your siblings as any of us were, truth be told.

For example, I don't think you were involved in the "see how often we can get Doug to voluntarily fall off the top bunk of the bed to the floor" ruse, were you?

What about the "I (Charlotte) can put my things anywhere I want in our room, but you (Becca) are only able to put your things IN THIS LITTLE CORNER, and if your things find your way out of there, I will immediately put them back."

(We were a fighting family as kids, no question about it. Nice to be grown-up now.)

Harmony said...

My first thought was, "Dang, Jeri beat me to the only answer I'm going to know the whole game!"

My second thought was, "Wow, that's a great story. I'm gonna use that one for a Family Home Evening lesson." (If my source, whom I will credit, will grant permission?) My kids definitely need that message, especially the part about being a family team.

My third thought was, "Charlotte should submit that story to the Friend magazine! It's perfect for that!" (They only print stories based on true stories these days y'know.)

And lastly, although I've never watched the movie twelve times in one weekend, I used to have a cassette tape of the soundtrack that Mercy and I listened to over and over and over. The 6th grade at my boys' elementary school does a play each year, and this year they did "Annie." One of my Valiant 11 girls in Primary, where we are learning and singing these beautiful truths about family love, was one of the orphans, and I just visited her yesterday to sign off her Faith in God booklet before she graduates and moves in to Young Women.

Let the whim wars begin! :-)

Harmony said...

And I didn't even try to get points for all the Saturday chores I did as a kid...

Robert said...

I just realized that Jeri isn't fully correct Miss Hannigan says the line that is the title of your post but it is the orphans that sing the song.

Charlotte said...

First of all, Harmony-you are absolutely welcome to use the story anytime and in any way you please. Also, I'll have to think about that Friend submission thing. I've never seen a story in the Friend that was written in first person, so I'd have to tweak it here or there, but maybe I'll try it. I hadn't even considered that, so thanks for the reminder!

And now for points:

Harmony: 1 point for listening to Annie on a cassette tape no less. Good times. 1 point for having a primary girl in a production of Annie. No points for doing Saturday jobs as a kid, since I think most of us did them.

(Note to the rest of you--if you DIDN'T do Saturday jobs as a kid, feel free to mention it, and I'll take points away from you.)

Total points: 2

One more point for Robert for pointing out that it's the orphans that sing the song. We'll leave Jeri with her point though, since it is actually Miss Hannigan who says this particular line earlier, which inspires the orphan (name anyone? It's worth another point) to say it during the song.

Carol said...

Okay - I can't resist the 'chiming' in here. How about a random point or two for knowing that while Carol Burnett played Miss Agatha Hannigan (going for trivia points here knowing Agatha) in the movie theater version, it was Kathy Bates (she was good) and Kristin Chenoweth played Lily St. Regis.

Jeri said...

wasn't it the orphan Molly who says the line in the song? and Robet is right, the orphans are the ones who sing the song... I just saw the title - knew it - and typed in the bare basics as fast as I could - no brain power engaged...
I'm with Harmony and knew I had to get the points FAST since there's no telling how many I'll actually KNOW this year...

Robert said...

I want to say molly but I'm not sure if there is even a orphan named Molly in the play.

Jake said...

Punjab helped Annie perfect her martial arts skills in the movie and I'm pretty sure he's a distant relative to Albert Pujols so in the end it's all about sports again.

Jake said...

Ironically the story of Annie is that she was saved from a life of Saturday jobs.

Jake said...

The most popular song In the movie was redone by Jay Z (and Austin Powers of course). Jay Z owns the nets who traded for Deron Williams last year after he forced Jerry Sloan that then caused LHM to rollover in his grave and we know that LHM has probably done more for Utah Theatre than maybe anybody and may even have had a hand in making midwinter madness possible.

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

I always thought Molly was one of the few orphans with a normal name. Duffy, Tessie, Pepper . . . Never heard of them outside of the play.

Can you get a point if you have seen Camille, (the movie they went to see at Radio City Music Hall:)

Melissa @ Happy Quilting said...

And I have to agree with Jacob on the ironic part. I mean you have a girl that is so good at her chores that she knows to start with the windows and then move to the floors so that if she spills . . . . And then she is told not to lift a finger. Nice :)

Oh, and I should correct my last statement. I should use the phrase more common, instead of normal. I apologize if anyone reading this has named or thought about naming their child Duffy, Tessie, or Pepper :)

Charlotte said...

Whew! You've all been busy I see.

Carol: 1 point for knowing that Miss Hannigan's first name was Agatha. (I had no idea) One point for knowing about Kathy Bates and Kristin Chenoweth. One more point for chiming in, since it's been awhile since we've heard from you around these parts!

Total points: 3

Jeri--one point for knowing that it was Molly

Jake: 1 point for Punjab, but no points for the Albert Pujols, since I don't even know who he is and for all I know, you could be pulling names out of the air just to get points. 1 point for "pointing out" (get it? Ha!) the irony of the show. 2 points for some really impressive finagalling to get from Hard Knock Life to Jay Z to the Jazz, to Larry H. Miller, to my employer and back to Midwinter Musical Madness. That's talent right there.

Total points: 4

Melissa: 1 point for having seen Camille. 1 point for knowing all those other orphan names.

Total points: 2

Mom C said...

How about, I used to read the Little Orphan Annie comic strips back in the long ago where the story came from. You knew she was an orphan but the orphanage was never in the strip. Neither was Daddy Warbuck's secretary but Punjab was! Sandy had great big whites to his eyes. As did Annie. The hardest part of all the plays is trying to get the dog to do what his script says. The trainer is generally just off stage, madly signaling to get Sandy to do what he's suppose to. Little Orphan Annie was kinda like Doonesbury today, social commentary couched in comic speak.
I goggled this part: There was actually a Mrs. Warbucks in the orginal comic strip, she was a mean lady and sent Annie back to the orphanage (so there was an orphanage in the strip after all) Mr Warbucks liked Annie so much he asked her to call him Daddy. He was not rich and went on business trips which is why Mrs Warbucks could send Annie back. Just FYI.

Charlotte said...

Alright mom, I'll give you another point for knowing (and reading) the comic, and an additional point for some google-wrought trivia on Mrs. Warbucks.


Harmony said...

Just in case you seriously consider submitting this story to The Friend (and I still think you should!):

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