We were not going to force him, but his reluctant attitude surprised us because normally he wasn’t that shy. Kimball’s part was to stand and say the line, “I am a child of God.” The day of the practice, the Sunday before the Primary presentation, Kimball went up to the pulpit, and it looked like he had decided to say it after all. He grabbed the microphone and began to sing, “I Am a Child of God” — sing, not say. Kimball thought that his part in the program was to sing a solo. No wonder he was nervous. But he did it anyway. I will not get that priceless experience back when he is a teenager.
One day my third son, Joseph, was sitting at the table drinking out of a straw. He paused, looked up at me with a smile, and said, “Dad, look, the straw works backward.” He flipped the straw over and started to suck out of the bottom, and sure enough, it did. My wife and I laughed about that for a long time.
Having little kids at home is difficult, and we can choose to focus on the endless dishes, diapers, laundry, and noise, or we can remember these experiences we will never get back, and they will help us focus on the good things and not just the hard things of the current stage.
Sometimes it feels like the phase we’re in is never going to end. LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson spoke of that when he said, “If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon. And that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.”
Stresses come in our life regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can, but we should not let them get in the way of what is most important.
G. Sheldon Martin is a seminary teacher and a clinical mental health counselor. He is a favorite speaker at Education Week, EFY, and youth conferences around the country. He and his wife, Nicole, are the parents of five children.
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