But this past Friday, Joel was out of town for the night. Before he left, I had been at the Preschool helping sort loads and loads of donated goods and I was exhausted. So, I sent the girls upstairs to start their movie while I finished getting some things done downstairs.
When I finished my work, I really, really, really just wanted to go to bed with a book or watch the movie I've had from Netflix for over a week now, but something told me I really should go spend some quality time with my children instead. Knowing they were up there watching Hannah Montana didn't really encourage me to obey the little voice I was hearing, but I went.
They were so excited to see me that they turned off the movie for a bit and we talked about all sorts of things: Field trips, friends, fears, frustrations, and feelings in general. Tears were shed as I listened to them describe the things that were kind of hard in their little lives, I watched sisters comfort each other and laugh together, and mostly I just felt closer to my daughters than I have since school started and my crazy schedule overtook my life.
After we were all warm and fuzzy and talked out, we went downstairs and I showed them how to make homemade popcorn. We took a big bowl of it upstairs and we resumed watching Hannah Montana. And the best part is, that once it was over (it didn't take long--they'd already watched most of it), they were excited about my idea of reading a book together. So, I took out The Mysterious Benedict Society and began to read it aloud to them. Sophia fell asleep in my lap, Chloe fell asleep on my shoulder and Bria wanted me to keep reading please. I didn't keep reading, but I do think this will be a wonderful new way to get everyone to go to bed happily.
Once I got them to bed, I realized I felt energized by it all. Not drained, like I usually do on the movie nights I so rarely participate in. In fact, I felt enough energized that I stayed upstairs and cleaned the very messy playroom (especially after popcorn eating!) and put away all of Sophia's laundry.
Now, I'm not saying that I never need alone time again, but I am saying that I will be more careful of my choices when it comes to family time. President Uchtdorf's talk yesterday continued to bring this notion home. I will be reading it often, to keep it fresh in my mind. It really touched my heart and answered many of the questions I brought to Conference this weekend.
What was your favorite talk? Why?