i caught sight of the crowd of laughing kids, then the wall-sized calendar of activities.
scanning the list of events i thought, "i could never plan all of this for my crew." it occurred to me that getting them signed up in summer daycare at the YMCA would be way more fun for them than being at home. way more stimulating. maybe they wouldn't be watching so many movies. and maybe i could get through my schooling more quickly.
"wait, wasn't there a reason i decided to take the summer off? in a larger sense, isn't there a reason my husband and i decided that i would stay home with our children?" i searched my mind for the rationale behind long, summer days at home.
i remember school time.
i remember feeling like i'd pick them up from school, ask them to do a chore, feed them dinner and basically start in on the bedtime routine. i remember hearing later what they'd been facing at school and wishing i could have been present to protect and guide them.
flash back to high-school... you know how you spend a lot of time with "so-and-so." you might not do anything very exciting together, but you're just always hanging out together... that "so-and-so" becomes your solid reference, prime influence, and dearest confidant without your even noticing it. and then when you are away from your dear friend for a day you inevitably find yourself thinking and saying, "oh, so-and-so did the funniest thing yesterday." and "well, i know what so-and-so would do right now."
this is the time and season for a family of so-and-sos.
when my darlings come to some of the choices they'll face in school this fall i wouldn't mind them thinking, "well, i know what mom would do right now." i'd love to be their solid reference, prime influence, and dearest confidant. "oh, dad did the funniest thing yesterday." or "my brother told me the best joke, want to hear it?" or "my sister made the best face expression, like this...."
thinking this way helps me to see that even if i feel like the day was a total productivity wash, if we had a few laughs, a few conversations, a few snuggles, it was a success.
"Our strengthened family cultures will be a protection for our children from 'the fiery darts of the adversary' (1 Nephi 15:24) embedded in their peer culture, the entertainment and celebrity cultures, the credit and entitlement cultures, and the Internet and media cultures to which they are constantly exposed. Strong family cultures will help our children live in the world and not become 'of the world' (John 15:19)." -Elder L. Tom Perry