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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Evening Thoughts

This evening, after dinner was eaten and cleaned up and Joseph put to bed and ice cream made and put away in the freezer, we watched General Conference together with the children.  Since we have an eleven-hour jump on Utah time, Brandon and I decided to go to bed last night instead of staying up until eleven to watch.  

So after our usual Sunday activities, we sat down and watched and listened to what our prophet has to say to us.  The two-hour session ended with Elder Uchtdorf's talk.  In his talk, he told of a nurse in hospice care.  During her time caring for those about to die, she asked her patients what they regretted about life.  Some said that they wished they had spent more time with friends and family.  Some said that they wished they had spent less time at work.  And some said that they wished they had let themselves be happy.

As I listened to Elder Uchtdorf's talk about people who had waited until they were through a stressful situation or done with a part of their life or they reached a certain goal to be happy, I looked at my three little children.

Mothering has not been something I ever looked forward to.  I had no glow of anticipation when I was pregnant with Kathleen. Instead I saw myself looking down a long, long tunnel of work work work.  I knew that eventually I would be happy with what I had achieved, but for now it was time for long, inglorious, often irritating work.

After conference we went downstairs and ate strawberry-peach ice cream together.  Kathleen told silly jokes that are only funny to the under-six crowd while Sophia giggled infectiously.  Edwin made capital letter statements about SHARKS being in his stomach that ATE his ICE CREAM.  Brandon sang silly songs.  And I watched.  And smiled.  I sat in the warm glow of happiness of a Sunday evening eating ice cream with my children.

Having four children is not usual these days.  Recently I've thought about exactly why I have four children and why I hope to have more.  Part of it is out of religious duty.  Part of it is because I can.  Part of it may be insanity - perhaps a large part - although I feel quite sane.  Maybe all insane people feel quite sane?

But as I sat in the warm orange glow of our kitchen keeping the dark outside, I knew.  I looked at Kathleen.  I looked at Sophia.  I looked at Edwin.  I thought of sweet Joseph asleep in his crib.  I thought of each one adding their unique spirit to our family.  Like a beautiful melody, each one adds richness and depth to the song of our family.  

Of course there are times when they each drive me crazy in their own special way, each so irritating I want to (and unfortunately do) scream.  And they are a lot of work, work that leaves me with little time to pursue my own interests.  They are anything but convenient, making any trip out of the house into a mini circus for everyone else's amusement.

But all of those times fade away in the moments of peace and happiness and ice cream eaten on a Sunday evening.  And I am happy.


Latter-day Guy said...

Elder Uchtdorf just keeps hitting home-runs! I hope they put more ausländers into leadership soon... though perhaps for every Uchtdorf there's also a Didier, who--despite an utterly wicked combover--is a bit less approachable.

Kristen said...

Hi, I'm not sure if I've ever "officially" commented on your blog, but I've been reading it for a long time. We are actually "neighbors" as my husbands first post with USAID has us living in Armenia for the time being. I haven't been actively blogging for the past year, but I just had to say that I loved this post and it really resonated with me! Thank you for your honesty and a beautiful glimpse into the heart of your family. It really encouraged and blessed me.

PaulaJean said...

I miss those sweet children of yours!! And it is those times of peace and eating ice cream that are the payoff for all the work and worry. Enjoy the ride when you can. And when they grow up? Grandchildren are the reward for letting your children survive when you occasionally wanted to wring their necks.

UnkaDave said...

Thanks for a nice post. It reminds one of the quote from Jenkins Lloyd Jones "...Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

kelley said...

These thoughts often hit me right now, with the two babies under 15 months. Motherhood still TOTALLY freaks me out sometimes. And sometimes I just feel like the babysitter but no one is paying me. Then I have that happy moment. When my squirmy toddler decides she's okay laying on my lap again. I have these two and wonder if I'll ever make it to 4 kids like I always thought I'd have. So kudos to you for your attitude and perspective.