Last Thursday, our five-day visit with Urs and Ingmar started. We had SUCH a great time with them. They were the perfect guests: willing to go on whatever outting I had planned for them, but also willing to give us our space when we needed down time. They were so easygoing, generous, kind, and sweet toward our whole family. I really loved getting to know them better and was sad to see them go. I had worried a little about awkwardness with our language barrier, but we made out ok. And they were so happy and excited to be here; mutual enthusiasm bridged a lot of communication gaps.
While they were here we visited the hospital and met with some of the staff. I was pleased with how kind and professional everyone was, and being on the maternity floor again brought back good memories. I delivered Dean there, and since his birth was incredibly fast and relatively easy, I don’t have even a shade of PTSD associated with visiting the place. We also had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound on my twenty-ninth birthday. It was an incredible experience. Seeing Urs and Ingmar see those babies on the screen was amazing. They were nervous, like any new parents, and the relief in the room was palpable when my OB announced that the babies look “perfect.” And, most exciting of all, the ultrasound tech announced without a shred of doubt that Baby A is a boy and Baby B is a girl. Ingmar teared up a little at that news: it has been their highest hope throughout this process that they would have the opportunity to raise a little boy AND a little girl. They are so happy. I think it was my favorite birthday yet.
Urs and Ingmar were also here for Father’s Day. On Saturday night, over New York style pizza, I casually mentioned that we’d be attending church the next morning at 8:30 a.m., and that they were welcome to come with us. I mentioned that it would be a Father’s Day-themed service and that Elspeth would be singing with the other children. To my surprise and excitement, they said yes! And you know, I built it up in my head way more than I needed to. We walked in and sat down in a mid-chapel pew, and everything went just as boringly as it ever does. I’m pretty sure poor Urs and Ingmar were extremely bored, especially since their basic English skills really couldn’t keep up with with the monotone cowboy who spoke over the podium for 30 minutes (seriously!). They seemed to love the two songs performed by the primary children, though, and I think they liked meeting a few of my more liberal-minded friends. Nobody said anything about the “traditional” family or gender roles. The only really awkward moment happened when a pushy missionary (one I had never even met before) asked repeatedly how we Garretsons know Urs and Ingmar. I finally just told him the truth, and he was pretty thrown. But you know, even this conservative nineteen-year-old kid didn’t say anything rude. He was obviously surprised and a little tongue-tied, but his response was something like “Oh, wow! That’s really interesting.” Knox, Urs, Ingmar, and I were all pretty amused by the exchange.
So throughout the visit, I kept enjoying feeling proud. I was proud of my ward, proud of the hospital, proud of my relatively well-behaved kids and my superb host of a husband, proud of my body for carrying these babies so well. There are, as always, still a few things in my life I could complain and/or pontificate about, but right now I’m feeling good so I’m just going to save those thoughts for another post.