Our kids have been sick for so many days that I've lost track now of how many. We've missed school. We've stayed holed up in the house. We've watched lots of TV. We've taken medicine. We've seen the doctor. We've tried muscling through it. We've done crafts. We've done nothing. We've left the house. We've stayed home. But it hasn't made much of a difference. They've still been miserable: sick half the day and hyper with cabin fever the other half.
We had planned to take the kids to see the Festival of Lights at the DC Temple this weekend, but with the sickness and the sleep deprivation, we weren't sure it was doable or even advisable. Thankfully, the Spirit gave me a nudge of inspiration to change our weekend into a day trip, and as a result, we were able to spend time enjoying the beauty of the temple together as a family today.
The main point of the trip was to help our children enjoy the temple during this holiday season and begin to establish their own relationship with this sacred place. We wanted them to begin to understand that the temple is a special place where we experience the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and learn of Him. It is a place where we learn a lot about how to return home to our Heavenly Father together as families, united eternally. It is the place where Steve and I were married, where we found each other, where we found ourselves, where we each individually have a lot of precious memories.
Today, teaching this to my family meant not letting anything stand in the way of us getting to the temple with our precious children. Not the fact that we're on the mend from being sick, not the fact that it's cold, not the fact that there are still presents left to make or that the car was a mess or that it would require six hours of driving. Not the fact that some of us were too hyper for a long drive, and some of us put gum in his sister's hair, and she just laughed, so it was ok (until I had to pull it out), and some of us cried a lot, and a few of us spoke at an elevated level (ahem...) and some of us wouldn't let other people sing Rudolph-the-Red-nosed Reindeer in the car, because it is her favorite song and only she can sing it "the right way".
None of that was going to keep me from getting my family were we needed to be today. As a parent, it feels good to see past the muck of life and take care of what matters most. In my mind, this is my calling. This is my job in my family. This is what I am here to do. Hopefully, with the Lord's help, we can continue to make moments like this happen for our family in the future.