Last week's family night:
Mommy: Okay, time for Family Home Evening. Everyone into the living room.
Daddy: Really, boys, into the living room. Time for Family Home Evening.
Mommy: Colin! Caleb! Living room now!
Daddy: Come on, let's go.
(Mommy and Daddy each pick up one child and physically place them in the living room.)
Colin: I'm going to say prayer.
Mommy: We're going to start with a song.
Colin: NO! I'M GOING TO SAY PRAYER!
Mommy: Let's sing "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus."
(Mommy and Daddy start to sing. Colin starts to scream a prayer overtop of us. Caleb collapses on floor crying. We finish the song.)
Mommy: Okay, Colin, would you like to say the prayer?
Colin: Yes. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for our family - Mommy, Daddy, Caleb and Colin. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Mommy: Okay, tonight we're going to talk about the sacrament. I'm going to read from this storybook, with the pictures.
Colin: NO! I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT!
(Mommy starts to read about how Jesus is our friend and how at church we can think about all the things he has given us and done for us. Colin is screaming and running from couch to couch, throwing his body at the furniture and bouncing off it. Caleb is still on the floor, tears streaming, and pointing at the television for a movie. He oscillates between the floor and the movie rack, which he may bring down at any moment. Mommy reads quietly beneath all the noise. Daddy is trying not to laugh at the craziness of it all. Mommy fast-tracks the story into four pages.)
Mommy: So what can we remember on Sundays about Jesus?
Colin: NO! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONONONO.....
Caleb: (incessant crying)
Daddy: I'm going to say a closing prayer now.
(Daddy closes with prayer. Mommy and Daddy exchange a look, trying to keep in mind all those stories about other families' similar experiences on family night, and wondering if behind the closed doors and pulled shades there really are other families like ours...)