When kids are little, Sundays can be very hard. These little fireballs of energy clash with fancy shoes, hard pews, and quiet voices. Generally speaking, sacrament meeting is pretty much my most dreaded hour of the week. After seventy straight minutes of wrangling Eli while begging the girls for whisper voices, I'm exhausted and cranky.
In most ways, today wasn't particularly different. After a monumental effort to get to church on time, Eli fussed so obnoxiously that he got taken out into the hall before the service even began. Talia was tired and kept putting her feet up while lying in the pew, thereby exposing the entire congregation to her yellow Winnie-the-Pooh undies. Brooklyn sat quietly, although the purse she insisted on wearing on her head like a cock's comb may have been distracting.
And yet despite the typical chaos, today's Sabbath was sweet. Instead of stressing, I savored the joy of being with family on this holy day. Talia gave her first talk in Primary, with lots of help from her big sister Brooklyn. Watching them stand up together was priceless. Talia looked so eagerly to Brooklyn for guidance; Brooklyn, in turn, was so proud to help her little sis. By the time the talk was over, tears were rolling down my cheeks--partly because the scene was so sweet, and partly because it was so hilarious. After all, not every talk on the Word of Wisdom encourages you to eat lots of healthy foods like watermelon...and lemons.
As for Eli, he played happily in nursery until a stinky diaper made him unwelcome company. Since I was teaching the lesson in Young Women's, the nursery leaders brought him to Jason, who then stuck his head into my class. There's nothing sweeter than a man asking for the diaper bag. :)
On the way home, instead of getting frustrated with the girls for competitively racing past us, I fast-forwarded ten years to when I'll miss the sight of their bouncing blond ponytails and the sound of their high-pitched screams. (Okay, so maybe I won't miss the screaming, but you get the idea.)
Instead of preparing a fancy dinner, we roasted pigs-in-a-blanket over the fire pit in our backyard. Instead of hurrying inside to clean up, we sat together and watched the sun set. I wish I could say that we pulled out our sleeping bags and camped on the trampoline, but alas, it's a school night.
Yes, the carefree days of summer are over, but perhaps that makes unscheduled Sundays even sweeter--particularly when enjoyed all together.