"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remembering why we do it

Monday night is family night. That's supposed to mean a spiritual lesson, fun songs, exciting games, yummy treats.

I received a stack of magazines in the mail. They've been sitting on my kitchen table. The cover of this one in particular, which is nothing but a catalog, has been staring me in the face.

Yesterday, I thumbed through it while feeding Eliza lunch and contemplating what our own evening would hold. The sarcastic side of my brain snorted, "Yeah ... that's what I thought it would all be like".

Our Monday night usually entails:

Harassment to bring everyone together
Arguments over who's turn to do what
Arguments over who forgot to rotate the job board
Pouting over Dad's delegation of the assignments
A giggly prayer
Recitation of an Article of Faith -- actually a favorite part!
Lots of songs that get sillier by the minute
Lots of hand motions to accompany the songs and entertain the baby leading to giddiness
A lesson
Adolescent eye rolling over a topic chosen specifically for their individual "needs"
Reminders to sit down
Slouching and hanging upside down on the couch
Frustration over those who think they need a drink and a bathroom break during a 15 minute lesson
Threatened punishment followed by testimony
Another giggly prayer with half of the participants eyes open
Tattle telling over who's eyes were open
Accusations to the tellers for having their eyes open to tell.

It's actually a highly anticipated night, believe it or not.

Because, despite it all, the treats bring us back together.

Especially when it's a rarity like roasting marshmallows over the fireplace on the first really chilly night of October.

“Do not let your children out to specialists … , but teach them by your own precept and example, by your own fireside. Be a specialist yourself in the truth. … Not one child in a hundred would go astray, if the home environment, example and training, were in harmony with the truth in the gospel of Christ.” Joseph F. Smith

I'm counting on that.


  1. You get a fifteen minute lesson in? Incredible!

  2. It only takes 15 because of the non-applicable comments, questions and suggestions.

  3. As much as I would love to say our Monday nights turn out fantastic, this sounds incredibly familiar! I'm hoping our children will at least remember we tried!
    I wonder how they got the kids in the magazine to even sit still long enough to snap that picture? Photoshop has to be involved somewhere, RIGHT?!

  4. No doubt, Mellyn! I mean -- look at the joy in those eyes ... come on!

  5. Just to let you all in on the secret. Inside of that manual - you know, the one the entire family is positively glowing over - is hidden the "TOYS R US BIGGEST BOOK OF TOYS". And NOW you know the REST of the story!!!!!

  6. Andra, it has got to be. And the Dad just said pick one of everything, right?