Here’s your eagle – standard column

Here’s this week’s Standard Examiner column. Hope you all have a great weekend.
“My husband is good at his job. He’s trained hard, worked hard, and after years of diligent service to get where he’s got, he’s recently been recognized as one of the best in his line of work.

“Honey,” he said the other day before leaving, “Just a reminder that today is the awards ceremony at my office. It’s not a big deal and you really don’t have to come…”

“Like I would miss this?” I said, “I don’t care if it’s not a big deal to you, it’s a big deal to me.” He’s overly modest and hates personal attention, two traits that I try my hardest to compensate for.

The ceremony was at 3:30, and per Mr. Top Dog’s suggestion, I agreed to bring the kids. All the kids. All four of the kids. (Who’s idea was it to have four kids, anyway?)

“Okay kids,” I said on the car ride over, “I expect you all to sit quietly and not speak. There will be no talking, do you understand? This will be boring, but it’s very important that you are respectful and obedient.” I looked in the rear view mirror and saw three little blond heads bobbing up and down in agreement. “If you are good, you’ll get a treat after Daddy’s ceremony. Now repeat after me…” I committed everyone to good behavior, and we parked and barreled out of the car.

For the first ten minutes of the program the kids, including my three-year-old June Bug, watched quietly from the sidelines. No one spoke, they didn’t run or jump or spit. There was no pooping, puking or screaming. By the time the second award was done being presented, I was feeling pretty darn good about the direction we were headed in.

The boss man called my husband’s name and I watched him head to the front.

Here’s the thing about awards. Mommy’s don’t get awards. I’ve been doing this gig for nearly eight years, and in that time no one has ever gathered a group of people into a room, read off a list of my personal accomplishments (which would include potty training, grass stain removal, and really good corn bread), handed me a ridiculously large bronze eagle, and clapped.

Watching my man receive his award, I suddenly got all chokey. He’s good at his job, and part of the reason he’s good at his job is because I’m good at mine. When he has to work late, or go to extended training, he never worries about who’s taking care of our family. His clothing is clean and pressed (usually), there’s always dinner on the table (or in the pizza box), and no matter what life throws him, he’s got hugs and kisses waiting at the door.

Seeing him get his award felt like a personal accomplishment.

And just as they handed him his statue and started talking about what makes him so great, what do you think happened? My three-year-old daughter decided to throw a fit. In a room full of military silence, her voice was earth shattering.

I yanked her out the door (which made her scream louder) in an effort to save the moment. By the time I got her to stop screaming, I had missed the entire thing. To say I was upset is putting it mildly.

I guess being a full-time mommy means you sacrifice the glitz and glamour for time-out’s and laundry piles. And I know that even though my children don’t appreciate me now, the day will come when they will look back and see that someone was there to pamper them when they were sick, hang their pictures on the wall, cheer them on during little league, and love the heck out of them.

But just between the two of us, there are days when I’d kill for a desk job and a stupid bronze eagle.”


  1. Ahhhhh! that was an awesome post . . . . . sorry about the fit though 🙂 My husband did something really kind for me a couple a weeks ago. Check out my blog to see my big bronze eagle. . . . seriously!!!! The military had a “hometown salute” for the airmen that had served in Afghanistan, and he put me in for an award that usually goes to a commander or someone who supported him while he was overseas. I got my first military award . . . . . I was hi greatest support. I’m patting myself on the back now . . . . . what humility. LOL (even though I know you hate LOL’s)

    So what I’m saying is . . . . . it really COULD happen to you one day!!!!! Though I’d take the kid stuff any day over a bronze eagle!!!

  2. Love this post. I am a mommy who has had to work the majority of my children’s lives. I am good at what I do, but just so you know, I would trade it all to have the moments with them back again. It wasn’t my fault I had to go to work, but once I did, now it is part of my life. We all do the best we can with what we have. You may never have a bronze eagle, but you will have squishy hugs and sticky kisses to get you through the rough times. You will hold their hearts in your hands forever, and you will live eternally in their hearts and minds.

  3. Maybe I will make you an award out of a Snuggie. You deserve it!

  4. You so deserve the award of the YEAR! It wouldn’t have been nearly as good of a post if they would have all sat quietly. Really now would it?
    I would have been reading along…..yawn……and been all warm and fuzzy.
    Instead I’m giggling and enjoying myself thoroughly.
    Even better cuz it’s at your expense.

    Yes, YOU are the reason that he is recognized and is good at his job.

    And yes…………there are MILLIONS of days that you would give your right arm for a desk job and a bronze metal.

  5. It figures, huh? My Piper is the same way. She can only hold it together for so long.

    Proud of your husband and proud of you.

    And what do you mean there are no awards for this gig? You mean, I have waited all this time for NOTHING?

  6. Let’s start our own ceremonial awards for moms. Whaddya say?

  7. Exactly! I love that you reconize YOUR accomplishment in his. As parents we really are in this together. Our successes are each other’s. Which is weirdly worded. But whatever.

    Hooray for your husband and HOORAY for YOU!

  8. Just the way you were writing I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop & boy, did it ever. June will forever keep you on your toes, eh? She just wanted to remind you that your reward is more eternal or something like that.

    That is pretty neat that your husband got rewarded like that & that you recognize your part in it. You’re right. He’s able to do his job because your so amazing @ yours. I’m very proud of all of my hubby’s military awards just for that very reason. Congrats to both of you for a job well done!

  9. My husband was in the Air Force. We went to a similar ceremony. The girls were cleaned and pressed – I’d told them how it wasn’t like Church where people understand if you have to leave, etc. Sit still, no kicking, pinching, etc. I was standing and talking to someone when I realized there were some snickers. I looked over at my 3 girls – all in the pinafore dresses and black patent shoes– PICKING THEIR NOSES. That was about 27-28 years ago and I still laugh. AFter all, I hadn’t mentioned nose picking!!

  10. I think I’m just starting to realize that I’m probably going to have to miss out on some things that I would rather not miss out on. Yesterday, we had a regional conference and Pres. Monson spoke. Well, my one-year-old decided he did not want to listen to what our dear prophet had so say and threw the fit of all fits in the lobby of the church. Needless to say, we ended up just leaving early. *sigh* Sometimes I don’t even know why we bother!

  11. Great story and congrats on the eagle.