Saturday, April 5, 2014

The White House Butler

No, this is not a post on Lee Daniel's book or Oprah's most recent acting performance, although I have only good things to say about both. This is about Atley's most recent school trip. We found out that Atley's class was invited to the White House a couple of weeks ago.  He was over the moon with excitement and we spent lots of time drilling him on proper etiquette and respect for the office. And just when I thought he understood what I meant he would ask me a question like, "Would you like me to tell the President how our family feels about Obamacare?" or "I think I should tell him that we have lots of guns and we aren't criminals."  or  "I get it mom. I will just tell him I was really disappointed that Mitt didn't win but I still feel honored to get to meet a president." or "I don't understand why I can't tell him whatever I want, he works for me. He works for all of us." Anyway, three days before his trip he became deathly ill.  We took him to the doctor and of course we got the old, "It's just a virus that has to run its course." nonsense! He missed two days of school and the night before his trip he was still running a high fever.  I was torn.  This was a chance of a lifetime, but he could barely sit up in his bed.  I said my prayers with increased fervor as did his brother and sister and Scott gave him a priesthood blessing.  But, honestly my faith was faltering I didn't really think he would be able to make the trip.  I worried all night about how I was going to break the news to him.  The next morning he woke up without a fever, no cough and he was significantly less congested.  He was stronger, miraculously stronger.  He could go to the White House!  Not only would he get to tour the White House but there was a strong chance that his class would be chosen to plant vegetables with Mrs. Obama in the White House garden that afternoon.  It was such an exciting morning. Of course, my excitement for him turned into pure anxiety when he told me right before boarding the bus that his plan was to find the bathroom as soon as he arrived.  He wanted to steal some toilet paper from the White House so that the whole family could wipe with the "same stuff as the President."  All day I was waiting for a phone call implicating my son in some sort of national scandal.  But, he got off the bus all smiles, still relatively well and full of stories of his day.  He didn't get to plant vegetables with Mrs. Obama. Apparently, a class more ethnically desirable was selected but he did get to see the President and even watch him board Marine 1 and depart from the West Lawn and as far as I know he was completely respectful. His mission to obtain toilet paper was thwarted on 4 different occasions by "people in authority."  So, needless to say we are not using the President's toilet paper at our house.  He learned a lot and so did I. I learned that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.  He is in the details of our lives.  He doesn't just give us what we need, sometimes He even grants us the things we want.

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