I have a wonderful family. I am blessed to be a mom and stay with my children at home. Like in any family, we have good days and not so good days. Some days I have a lot of fun with my kids and love every minute of it and other days I wish I could go on vacation. You know what I’m saying.
Every once in a while, when I’m having a “not so fun” day, I find myself having thoughts like: Someday, things will get better or easier when… my toddler starts to eat lunch without fighting, when my little one stops whining, when I finally get enough sleep…I’m sure you can insert your own thoughts here. On those days, I try my best to go about my daily routine, make sure that my kids are fed and dressed–I just get through it. Some days I get frustrated. Some days I don’t appreciate my kids as much as I should.
Recently, I had an experience that helped me understand the value of my little ones even more than I’d ever known before.
Our family is moving, and during this transition we have been staying at the home of my parents’-in-law. We are all spread out into different rooms, and our 2 year old got the room upstairs. One night, at about 5 in the morning we heard the carbon monoxide detector go off. We quickly opened all the windows and the alarm stopped. We called 911 and took all the kids outside. After the fireman came and checked everything, he said that he couldn’t find any carbon monoxide anywhere except upstairs there was a higher amount of it. We got worried, but he said that he couldn’t be sure because his equipment wasn’t sophisticated enough. He called the gas company and had them check things out more closely. About an hour later, a man from the gas company came. He checked everywhere, including the upstairs, where our daughter had slept that night, and said that he found nothing and that we were safe. We kept thinking, however, why did the fireman with his “out of date” equipment find something upstairs? We asked if he could check again with the heater turned up high. So he went upstairs and checked again. This time he said he found an amount of carbon monoxide that was very dangerous, and the only reason our 2 year old didn’t get a bunch of it was that the vents were closed and had prevented it from getting into that room.
I don’t know what all those numbers the man gave us mean. But I know this: my little girl is safe because somebody had closed those vents. I also know that it was the Spirit who prompted us to ask the man from the power company to check that room for carbon monoxide one more time.
Life is very valuable, especially the life of my little ones’. President Gordon B. Hinkley said: “Life is precious. Life is sacred. And it ought to be observed.” So on the days that are hard, I’ll put extra effort into cherishing my kids during every moment I’m with them. Yes, parenthood is not easy, and maybe I’m not perfect at being a parent, but my children are my everything, and even the difficult times are dear times, and there is no way I would ever trade them for anything in the world. I think I’ve known this all along, but this experience just made me more conscious of it.
Russian writer Maxim Gorky wrote: “Children are the living flowers of the earth.”
I love that quote so much because it describes children perfectly. Let us treat them as if they are precious flowers with love and care and let us be good soil for them. Life is so fragile. What will happen tomorrow is in the Lord’s hands. But what we can do today is be grateful for our little ones, press on, and do the best we can to love and care for them — even on the hard days. I want to be happy and cherish every moment on good days and not so good days!