Friday was going to be a regular day of school. I've been fiercely protective of our school time, and it has paid off with some solid learning and accomplishing of goals for our family.
But then we learned that an elderly sister in our ward [congregation] needed help moving.
So we canceled academics in favor of service.
The whole family loaded up in the van and headed over to Sister W.'s house. Daddy jumped out and joined Sister W.'s son-in-law in moving bookshelves, bed frames, couches, and tables. J8 carried pillows and boxes of craft items. E12 helped me carry out canning jars. M10 and S10 put extra coats on the little guys and fed them graham crackers.
It quickly became evident that it was too cold for the little guys to play outside, so I took them home along with M10 and J8 who were excited to babysit. S10 was rather mad at being left to carry boxes, but I knew that the lure of the DVD player would be far too strong for her to babysit effectively.
I returned to the site of the move to find sulky-faced girls who reluctantly helped get the truck loaded. However, their efforts were rapidly rewarded when Sister W. returned from a mystery errand with 5 boxes of pizza. Their attitudes turned, and they begged to stay when it was finally time for us to leave.
We lifted, carried, hauled, and helped as much as we could until it was time for me to get home to nurse baby I.10 and get Daddy home to bed because he'd been awake for nearly 24 hours having come to the move after a full night of work. We hated to leave the scene before the work was finished, but another son and daughter-in-law showed up and took our places. Sister W. would be cared for.
Upon arriving home, I found that J8 and M10 had made lunch and cleaned it all up, and the little guys were safe and happy. I was so proud of my not-very-big girls doing such a good job babysitting!
There were moments when my children complained about the work being too hard or too boring, and they said, "We're the only kids here! Why do we have to help when other kids don't?" To which I replied, "I'm happy to take you home and have school today. Would you prefer that or would you like to help a lady who has been kind to our family?" They all said helping was the better option.
I hope they always remember that helping is the better option.