Today Rick clapped during Sacrament Meeting. If you have ever been to an LDS church service, you know that we don’t clap. At all. Not that we’re forbidden from clapping anywhere. It just doesn’t happen during our three hour block. So when Rick spontaneously burst into applause, it was noticeable.
In his defense, it was an appropriate thing to clap for. A young girl standing before the congregation had just gotten over her nerves, and perfectly delivered a scripture she’d memorized. Like many of us in the crowd, Rick was cheering for her. And he let it show. Then he got a quick “What are you doing?!” glance from the bishop and our entire family, which clued him in to what he was doing, and he stopped almost as quickly as he'd started.
But it made me smile and think. Shouldn’t we all be cheering each other on, wherever we are, in our endeavors to do good things?
Six months ago, this week, Rick and I embarked on a new adventure. It was one that terrified us, as we had NO idea what we were doing. We felt unsure, but confident. Unprepared, but ready. Nervous, but excited. And, actually, even a little embarrassed, but proud. We’d decided to start a blog.
Until this last week, it was mainly our families and friends who read our weekly posts. We were excited a couple weeks ago, when our readership reached nearly 300 people, with a post about our marriage. So when we checked to see the number of times Rick’s post from last Sunday had been read, we didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves. In less than 24 hours, over 8,000 people had read it. Then 16,000. As of this morning, the site has had over 25,000 views, from countries I can’t even pronounce, on every populated continent. And if penguins had internet access, I’m sure we’d see some red blinking dots on Antarctica, too.
It’s a funny thing to put yourself out there for the world to see. Even when you expect it, it still hurts your feelings when someone tells you EXACTLY what kind of parent they think you are. Yes, we’re overbearing. Yes, we’re overprotective. Yes, we still intend to let our kids use the computer and watch TV, even though we don’t think they’re ready for Instagram.
The thing that hit me, in reading the comments and seeing how many people have “liked” or shared our blog, is the overwhelming support I have felt. What a blessing it is to know that we’re in the same boat! What a relief it is to know that other parents have the same struggles as we do. It makes me think of the scripture that says that we should “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” That’s what we’re here for: to help, learn, and love.
Years ago, as a seminary student, I heard an analogy that put my life into perspective:
Imagine you’ve got a spool of thread that you unwind completely, having a person on each end of the unwound thread, holding it firmly. Then tie a knot right in the middle of the string. As you run your fingers from one end of the string to the other, you’ll feel the tiniest little blip—the knot you tied. That blip is your life, and everything before and after is eternity.
Who knows what the next six months will bring for my family. The most we can do is to try our best to do what is right, and silently (or maybe not so silently) cheer each other on. And you can bet we’ll write about it for the world to see. Or at least for five or six people to see.