Every Monday we do a family night. Sometimes it goes as planned. Sometimes—I will be honest—it is an epic fail. A few of these nights have ended in hurt feelings or an eroded plan of an ideal of what we wanted it to be. Other nights don't go according to any plan . . . but are absolutely perfect.
Tonight started off with a plan to drill into our kids some responsibility: a lesson on organization and pulling their crap together so mom didn't have to keep picking up the slack. We were going to let them know how frustrated we were about negative emails from teachers and fights about who sat in the middle row of the car . . . and messes every where. We had a plan and they had some serious lessons to be learned.
We started out with a prayer. And soon Shawn had us all on the floor sitting in a circle. Then one by one he had each of the kids hold my hands and look me in the eye and tell me all the things they loved about me. To say I was a hot mess by the last person would be an understatement. Tears were falling down my face and I couldn't stop them.
Then each of the kids got a chance to be in the center. More tears and heart felt love. Each of us took a turn telling the person in the center—as we looked into their eyes and held their hands—all the reasons we loved them.
Shawn ended up going last--made it around the entire circle and got to the last person. Teage tried to talk as he grabbed Shawn's hands and stared into his eye. He could barely get out his words, "I love you because you are my dad . . . and you took time to coach my basketball team . . . and you teach me . . . and you want me . . ." Then he started sobbing and threw his arms around Shawn and didn't let go.
Sometimes I forget that all of us want to be appreciated and loved. We want to be seen and felt like we are worth something. Tonight we had a plan to force our kids to see all that we do for them . . . instead they told us how they do.
Life isn't about perfection. It is about perfect moments—amid the chaos—that remind us why we work so hard.