Saturday, March 16, 2013

When My Family Leaves

Many men look forward to having time to themselves, without their spouse or children demanding their attention.  There are many days where I come home exhausted; exhausted from trying to teach a class of 27 students, listening to parents' sob stories, dealing with policy changes, planning for the week, dealing with a group of wild Cub Scouts, etc.  I am sapped of all energy and all I want to do is sit, relax, and not have to think about anything. I want to give up all my responsibilities for a couple hours and allow my brain and spirit time to recuperate from another long day.  But as a loving parent and husband, I know I must give a little bit more.

So it is always odd to me that I don't relish the time I have to myself when Melissa heads to Utah with the girls.  Sure, it is fun for the first night, I can play video games and watch movies as loud as I want, I don't have to clean up anything, nobody is demanding my time, and I can eat all the mac & cheese with hot dogs I want...but then the 2nd and 3rd nights reveal an important truth.  I need my family.

I need my family.  I have discovered during these short breaks that my family is everything to me.  Without them I feel insignificant.  No longer are there two little faces that light up as I walk through the back door.  No longer is there a spouse that loves and adores me, that wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me upon my return (although most of the time she is just relieved that she can pass the torch to me).  No longer is there any purpose to my evening, nothing to look forward to...and saddest of all...THERE IS NOTHING TO EAT!

One of gospel teachings that frequently comes to mind when I am home alone is the idea that we should "multiply and replenish the Earth so that we can have joy and rejoicing in your posterity."  It is during these moments of loneliness that the Spirit confirms to me the truthfulness of an eternal family.  Melissa, Hannah, and Paige are my purpose.  Ensuring that they are safe, that their needs are met, that they understand the importance of the gospel and following the commandments...these are what I feed off of.  And when they are absent from my home I feel lost because they are no longer around for me to share my unconditional love with them.

Don't get me wrong, I love time to myself.  But I know that my family is the greatest thing I have in my life.  They motivate me to get up and work hard every day because I want them to have the necessities of life.  They make me want to be a better husband and father.  They constantly help me reflect and ponder upon what is most important each day.  I am excited for this week long trip to end because I will no longer feel lost.  I anxiously await the return of purpose into my life.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

What a nice post. It's true, we love our time to ourselves. But, it doesn't take long to really miss the ones we love and really appreciate them.