Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parenting Missed Opportunity

It’s no secret around here that I get cranky at night. But don’t bring that to my attention while I’m cranky, unless you like being barked at.

“I don’t need to go to bed. I’m FINE. It’s this family that is making ME cranky!”

Placing the blame on everyone but me—a fault that manifests itself brightly at night.

Last night for Family Home Evening, we read some of the Sermon on the Mount. Now, I’m no Bible scholar, but if you were to look for the best scriptural passages to sum up why you believe in Christ, and what passages you’d most want to teach your children, the Sermon on the Mount would be very high up there, if not the Mount Everest of scripture verses.

And so we began each reading three verses. Kulani and I took turns trying to explain to the girls what each verse meant.

“A mote is a very small piece of wood, like a splinter. A beam is a huge board. You need to work on your own problems before you can help others with their problems,” Kulani told the girls.

“Do we feed Jesse our finest dinners? No. So we don’t need to share things that are important to us with people who won’t appreciate it or who are just going to make fun of us,” is how I tried to explain the “pearls before swine” concept.

Afterwards I gave the girls a quick quiz. They didn’t get one question right, so either we didn’t do that great of a job explaining, or they weren’t really paying attention.

Then we had cookies, and it was time for bed.

Before Lilia goes to bed, she asks me, “Will you come read scriptures with me?”

Stop right there. What parent wouldn’t love to hear their child show an interest in learning the scriptures?

Yeah…….. but here’s what I did.

“We just read scriptures. Why do you want to read some more?”

“Well, I’m supposed to read eight verses on my own,” Lilia said.

“Fine. If you have to do it by the book, then read them yourself in bed. It’s late. I need to get up early in the morning.”

Reading what I said in the full light of day…well, all I have to say is, “Oh, heck.”

I watch Lilia walk to her room dejected. I tell Kulani, “Why does she have to be such a pharisee about these things? She can read the scriptures just fine on her own. Why does she need me?”

In the middle of the night, I awake realizing what I’d done. I hear Kulani rolling over and I say to him, “I think Lilia wanted me to read with her, so she could better understand what she’s reading.”

“I know. She came to me a little later and told me she needed help understanding the scriptures. I told her I would read with her.” Kulani answers me.

Gulp. Don’t stand too close to me. You might get wacked by the beam sticking out of my eye.

1 comment:

VaLene Hulme said...

I would have done the same as you. When I decide it's bedtime, I don't want any delays. However, I probably wouldn't have woken in the middle of the night worried about it!