Friday, March 18, 2011

Beware My Own "Creativity"

Over here in Idaho we have been struggling in the afternoons. The hours between when the boys come home from school and when Dad comes home have been less than ideal. To be frank, they've been miserable. The walk home has often times been "freezing," or "boiling hot," or "SOOO long!" Battles have already been fought over "Jeff would only walk as slow as a tortoise" and "Ethan ran away and wouldn't wait for me." Even on days when the walk home seems to have passed pleasantly enough, the moment I ask for school things to be picked up and put away, we're off to the races.

Well, after a couple of particularly bad afternoons, I decided No More! I was going to be waiting for the boys with a dance party when they arrived home. We would have a few moments of fun right amid the backpacks and shoes and papers. This would set a wonderful tone for the rest of the afternoon. What a fun Mom I am, I thought. With a little creative thinking, what a fabulous solution I've found. What a success story it will be for the family journal. I even set up the camera on a timer to document my winning mother moment. Well, it was not the victory I had anticipated. In case you're wondering, little boys still like to hit and kick and fight even when music is playing. I simply began shouting over the music for Ethan to put Jeff's boots down (an infuriating affront to Jeff) and for Jeff to stop swinging the ball around and "accidentally" hitting his brothers (producing injuries that may never heal.) Our home was once again a den of contention.

Disappointed, I was prompted to say a prayer with my children to help our afternoon go better. I went into the playroom where my eldest was seething on the couch. I called for Jeff to join us. He was unable to hear me in our sprawling and expansive 1500 sq. ft. house, so I went to retrieve him. I asked the boys if they thought our afternoon was going well. "Of course not, because of YOU!" I pushed on. I asked if they thought we should say a prayer to ask our Heavenly Father to help our afternoon go better. "I guess." A high recommendation indeed. I asked them to kneel with me. No response. I asked again if they would please kneel with me. "I AM!" Once we were all kneeling together, I offered a heartfelt prayer for our family. I asked specifically for the help that each of us needed, including myself. And voila! The rest of the afternoon went great, not perfect, but great.

I think I am often guilty of searching for the creative solution to my problems when the perfect solution has already been given. The answer is not a dance party. The answer is prayer. The answer is not the newest self-improvement fad. The answer is the scriptures and the teachings of our prophets. I've learned this lesson again.


Amy said...

Thank you for sharing. I do agree...sometimes it seems to take me awhile to remember what I already know, the Lord knows how to handle all of our situations and prayer can certainly defuse a situation.

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