One of the commitments we have made as a family is to try and set aside one night a week to have what we call “Family Night”. Even though we spend every evening together under the same roof, we are often in separate rooms doing different things (homework, dishes, TV, email, Facebook, checking blogs, checking more blogs, researching musical PA systems – more info on that later! Can you say, "Happy Early Mother's Day"?) so Family Night is a way of spending some time together that’s a little more structured. Sometimes we discuss religious principles, other nights we might go out for ice cream, often we share some kind of activity (usually involving Nerf guns and point blank Nerf darts to the head), and when we’re too tired we use “Psyche” episodes to reinforce our family bond. But last Monday, we tried something a little different.
A couple of weeks ago David A. Bednar spoke to millions of people regarding our responsibility as parents to our children, and he made some recommendations for spontaneous discussions in our families. He said, “Imagine a Family [Night] in which children are invited and expected to come prepared to ask questions about what they are reading and learning….And imagine further that the children ask questions the parents are not prepared adequately to answer.” Two days later was our appointed night, so we decided to try this approach. [Translation: It was late, no one was prepared with a lesson, and this sounded easy.] “Okay guys,” I started in. “Tonight, instead of an organized lesson Dad and I have decided to open it up for questions. Fire away.” Samantha and Drew stared at each other quizzically, so I continued. “We just want you guys to know that you can come to us at any time and ask anything you want and we will do our best to answer you. We’re an open book – nothing is off limits. So, do you guys have any questions that have been on your mind?” Samantha looked up at the green hat perched on Drew’s head and said, “Okay, how come Drew’s hat is the color of boogers?” Drew laughed, pointed at Samantha’s yellow shirt and asked, “Yeah! And why is Sam’s shirt the color of URINE?” They broke out in laughter at which point Cory and I decided to just go to bed.
So, I guess the moral of the story is I hope David Bednar never comes to our house for Family Night. He would be so disappointed in us. Plus, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable giving him a nerf dart to the head.