March 1, 2009. Less than 11 hours before Sanders was born, Beckham and I were sitting alone in Sacrament meeting. As it happens this was Fast and Testimony meeting.
If you have learned nothing else from reading my blog, you will have undoubtedly learned this, Beckham is NOT shy and ADORES the spotlight. Fast and Testimony meetings are akin to Christmas to that boy.
He quickly picked up on what day it was and asked me," Mom, is this the day anyone gets to go up and talk?"
"O.K. I'm going."
We have been counseled by the First Presidency that if young children cannot bear their testimonies on their own they should not do it during the meeting. So, I always stay seated on our bench and hold my breath as I watch my precocious 4 year old advance his way to an open mic and a captive audience.
At first he did really well. He sat still and waited his turn. He was third in line. Only occasionally did he loudly whisper to me, from the stand, and exuberantly gesture that it was his turn after, "Thiiiiiis lady".
Finally, it was his turn......
" I'd like to talk about Jesus. He is a really true man. He teaches about things you need to do. He can do the things He needs to do. He likes to teach people on Earth what they need to do.
I really like to play outside, but it's so cold! my new baby is going to be born March 9. He looks like my sister....."
At this point I realize he has now forgotten all about the Testimony part of the meeting and is settling in, quite nicely, to finish out the rest of the time with, Words of Wisdom by Beckham.
I start making my way up to the podium.
As I am trying to sprint up to the front while still allowing for the Spirit I hear whispers coming from the audience, "Uh oh!" "Snicker" "Giggle". They all know. This mom is on a mission.
Just before I get to Beckham he sees me. Turning to me and leaning into the mic as if to shield his mouth against any would be lip readers he spits, "AWWWWWW Mom!!!"
I whisper in his ear, "It's time to be done."
He retaliates by flapping his elbow like the wing of a bird trying to remove my mouth from such close proximity to his ear all the while loudly whispering, " Go away. I'm not done. Go away. I'm not done. I'm not done."
I'm losing the battle. As well as crying because I am laughing so hard, along with the rest of the congregation, and decide a change of tactic is needed. I tell him he can say one more thing and then he needs to BE done.
With the speed of a commercial voice over reading all the legalities of a too-good-to-be-true T.V. offer he blurts, " I wanted to name our baby Thomas, but my mom won't let me! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
At which point he turned around and stomped down to our bench with a smug little smile, a side glance at me, and his chin titled ever so slightly toward the ceiling that let me know that although I had slowed him down, he had still won.