Recently, I was asked to write about our rituals for weekly planned family time. I quickly penned my thoughts - focusing on the special time we set aside to gather as a family nightly for family dinner and weekly for Family Home Evening.
As I wrote, Steve and the girls each filtered into the room to ask questions or touch base. As I shared with them what I was writing, each contradicted my words. They said, "Sure, we do those things... but that is not our special time!"
Steve suggested that instead I write about Sunday dinners - a time when we gather at the homes of our parents and enjoy both delicious meals, delightful discussions, and time together with our extended families.
Ella and Louisa insisted that I write about our weekend ritual of snuggle time. Ella said, "To me, something that builds our family is snuggle time. It makes me feel loved and comforted when we gather under the comforters of my parent's bed. I feel peaceful and like no matter what happens to me, everything will be all right. When we snuggle, I feel like Heavenly Father's love is pouring down on me." Louisa said, "When it is snuggle time, we make a family sandwich where I am usually the jelly. Ella is the peanut butter and my mom and dad are the bread. I like it because it is family time that is fun!"
Frequently I focus on creating "magical moments" for our family that require a great investment of time and energy. Yet, this discussion taught me - yet again - that it is often ordinary events (the times when we gather together and take a moment to wrap our arms around each other) that can foster feelings of connection and help our children most to feel loved.