After Christmas, we took a little trip to the mountains of California with some friends. Thirty of us packed into a cabin and spent the weekend playing games, eating, skiing, Jacuzzing, sleigh riding, eating, and playing games. It was a lot of fun.
My favorite part of the weekend was teaming up with the teenagers to assemble puzzles, and play The Settlers of Catan -- a game that I think I will be playing a lot.
Did I mention that we played a lot of games??
One night we had a special program for one of the boys in our group who is getting ready to serve a 2 year mission in Paris, France. As I sat there listening to the men in the group share their experiences about serving missions, I thought to myself how lucky I am to be surrounded by such good families. Their influence is powerful and I know that my children are blessed to have this in their lives. I know the adults love my children and have treated them like one of their own. And I love the teens and children in this group the very same way. I have known many of them since they were babies. My heart breaks a little every time one of them leaves to go off to college.
At the end of the evening, my friend Anne summed up by saying: "I want all of you kids to take a look around at these people. They love you, and they want you to be happy. When you choose things in your life that bring unhappiness, it doesn't just affect you, it affects all of us. We all hurt when we see you making bad choices. But if you do . . . we will be there to help you get back on track, because we love you. These people have your back.
It made me cry, because it was true. Truth does that to me -- makes me cry at times when I really don't want to. Eden and Claire find it embarrassing.
No matter what your opinion of Hilary Clinton, it really does take a village to raise up a child.
***Post Script: In case you are not familiar with Mormon Missionaries, you can read about what they do here. I'm guessing, however, that you are, since they are in almost every city throughout the world -- wearing white shirts with black name tags, riding bikes, or walking around. They are good, good boys, so be nice to them! Even if you aren't interested in what they have to say, their parents worry about them, and hope they are being treated with kindness.