• Elijah Ricks

Ocean Blue

Avey has been expressing herself through art a lot lately. Her media of choice are marker, printer paper, and masking tape. Yesterday she came up with the idea of making a book, entitled Ocean Blue. Here is the cover:

And here are the illustrations on the inside:

Avey told me the story, and then Kira asked to hear it again so that she could write it down verbatim. It goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was a blue ocean, named Ocean Blue. And then a pirate ship came in it. The pirate ship was so big and fat that the Ocean Blue just turned into just little blue dots. The pirates didn’t know what happened. After several readings, and exaggerated sobs on Ocean Blue’s behalf from yours truly, Avey added the epilogue:

Then God made a new Ocean Blue where the old Ocean Blue was. Since yesterday we’ve read the story about 2 dozen times. Avey is beaming with pride that she made her own story, let alone created a book about it. She’s currently working it into a screenplay to pitch to her uncle Jesse who “knows how to make computer movies”. She was so pleased with the first one, in fact, that she has started Volume II of the chronicles of Ocean Blue. The next installment (SPOILER ALERT!) includes the introduction of a turquoise fish. No, that really is a spoiler, because that’s the story. The fish swims into Ocean Blue and that’s all she wrote, literally.

Carver is officially cute as of this week. He’s been smiling like it’s his job (and it kind of is), and has slept in 7-hour stretches twice in the last few days! He made his debut at Relief Society today, giving Kira one of the nicest Mother’s Day gifts he could come up with. If he can go another 7 hours tonight, he’ll make this the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had anyway.

Avey filled out a Mother’s Day card in Primary today. She did very well on many of the fill-in-the-blanks. We were quite tickled to see that for the question, “What does your mommy do in her free time?” Avey answered, “She likes to feed Carver.”

Although a little sad that such a thing seems like all the fun Kira gets these days, it is a fairly accurate portrayal of the dedication and perseverance that it takes to be the mother of these two. It is beyond a full-time job. How she manages to keep the two fed, clothed, semi-entertained, and still have a little bit of time left over to take care of herself is a feat by itself. Avey and Carver do and will cherish her for the rest of their days (okay, maybe not through the teenage years), and will pass the love and guidance on to their children. After working with prisoners and now working with juvenile probationers, I am more aware than ever of the importance of stable, caring, mindful mothers in children’s lives. I am fortunate to have a wonderful wife as a partner as we raise our children.

I cannot say a positive word about mothers without mentioning my own. I am a better man and father thanks in large part to my mother’s endless patience and charity with her 6 children, and the example she continues to set with her grandchildren and students. I shudder to think what my life might be like had I been born to any other.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who have listened to, kindly guided, complimented, comforted, and loved a child!

#LittleGems #OnParenthood

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