Tuesday, March 22, 2011
FHE: Shoot Me Now.
The day: Monday
The place: In my bedroom. Hiding.
(I'm writing this on Monday night, but I need to read it tomorrow morning before I post it. (Next morning - a couple edits))
Sigh. We just finished having our weekly Family Home Evening. Some go great, some go OK, tonight was a disaster. I had actually spent some time preparing a nice lesson building on last Sunday's church lessons about Christ's use of parables in His teaching.
I should have known it was destined for failure right from the opening song: One of the FOMLs sat down at the piano and chose to play "Nearer My God to Thee", a song that reminds me of funerals. About halfway through, I realized that I was the only one singing. Nobody knew the words. I asked everyone to stop, and asked if we needed to pick another song that everyone knew. My EC suggested that we get hymnbooks instead. What seemed like an hour later, we ended up singing together. At least it looked like it - I couldn't hear anyone, but this time their lips were moving.
Trying to teach a lesson that can be understandable for a 4th grader, and still interesting for teenagers is a challenge, but I pressed forward with pure intent.
About 2 minutes in, my 4th grader was absorbed by trying to flatten out the bent corners of his scriptures, the middle FOML was staring off into space, thinking about who-knows-what, and my 18 year-old was reading the "scriptures" on his iPhone. I looked at my EC, she looked back at me and shrugged her shoulders, looking as defeated as I felt. The boys didn't even notice.
Argh! Nothing was connecting. They didn't want to listen, they didn't want to be there, and the Spirit had decided that he would rather be watching Dancing With the Stars. I can't blame him. The bright side is that we weren't actually fighting - which is how my I spent my youth on Monday nights.
We closed with the song "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" after arguing about whether that was the title, or if it was "The World Has Need of Willing Men". Of course we had to drag out the hymnbooks again to verify.
The middle FOML said the closing prayer and blessed the refreshments. It was the only time the kids actually perked up. We didn't have any. So, I went to the outside freezer, took my last glorious pint of Ben & Jerry's, split it three ways and gave it to the boys. They were glad, but not as excited as they should have been, considering it was "Everything but the..." flavor. (see previous post here.)
I told the kids to get busy with their homework, and beat a hasty retreat to my room with my EC in tow. (Boy that Ralph Macchio hasn't aged a bit, and he sure can dance.)
And we will try it again next week. I promise.
Why? Because I know that it isn't always like this, and that it is worth it. I know that the promises of holding weekly FHE are just too fabulous to pass up. Don't know what I'm talking about? Then dig in:
Elder James E. Faust
Enriching Our Lives Through Family Home Evening
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Spiritually Strong Homes and Families