Growing up I was convinced of two things:
1) we had the best family ever
2) even though I thought my family was great, my Dad was a little too pushy about having so much mushy, gushy family time...I mean, sure, I loved to be with them...after all, in my mind they were the best. But where was the time for endless hours with friends and all my social plans for crying out loud?
Looking back, I realize that the second thing in a sense created the first. We became that family that I loved so much because we were together all the time. We traveled a lot, just our family. We lived in Mexico and Japan for a month each....oh, and camped out in Oregon for one summer while we built a log cabin. We lived in England for three and a half years (that extra "half" when I was a Freshman in high school made me cling to my sister for dear life). My Dad would always send our friends home so we could have family dinner...long family dinner on those hard kitchen chairs. I even had to turn down going to backpack around Europe with my friends before study abroad because my Dad insisted we needed more "family time."
And as much as I thought those measures were extreme growing up...and I was bugged...and I wished my parents could just let me be, I'm SO thankful for them now. (Except for the "no-backpacking-around-Europe" one...that one pushed it a little too far.)
Anyway, I bring this up because I'm turning into my Dad...hook, line and sinker.
I hoard my time with our little family.
Well, Dave and I can't pack us all up and go live in foreign lands on a whim like my parents did. (Although we're still working on that...) But I can carve out time for us as much as possible.
This is a little tricky in a neighborhood where our kids have best friends on every corner (which I LOVE, by the way...and because of it I swear we can never move from this neighborhood, but it just sometimes makes for condensed family time).
And it's getting trickier as they get older. I swear it was like pulling teeth to take my girls out on a special date on Saturday night while Dave took Max to his first Priesthood Session of Conference. They were getting pulled every which-way with so many options of fun things going on everywhere else. I'm so glad for all the positive pulls in different directions. They're all good things. But I don't get my girls to myself all that much. And I wanted them that night.
It was so worth "pulling those teeth." We had such a fun time. I am firmly entrenched in the theory that sometimes you just have to force a good memory.
And I'm going to have to tell about it tomorrow because right now I HAVE to go to bed. (Six 0'clock comes way too early.)
to be continued...