We set aside our weekly family night for yesterday. When planning these, I have learned to keep them super simple for the most part. Otherwise, it seems too easy to focus on the activity instead of our actual family. Last night was definitely one of the easier nights–no materials or pre-planning involved. And it was excellent. We simply went around the table making up a story I started. I think it started something like, “Once there was a tornado who wanted to learn to hula hoop, so…”. As you might imagine, there was much laughter to hear how everyone was going to fill in their part of the story. One time Miriam, our two year old, just said, “And he was doomed.” I think the story ended with the tornado transforming into a flaming tornado who jumped through hoops at the circus. Even as the kids were getting ready for bed, though, the discussion about what else might have happened in the story continued.
Last night was especially sweet for our family. This week has been a particularly discouraging one, and Bill and I didn’t realize how much we’ve been neglecting our children until we had the almost tearful relief to simply sit and enjoy each other. Most of our family nights aren’t this enlightening, but the Spirit used this one to show us how self-centered instead of Savior-centered we’ve been in the midst of our circumstances. We forget so quickly who we are! I feel like I can’t take my eyes off my sweet kids’ faces today, smiling in contentment and knowing they are glimpses of the perfect joy we will one day have.