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Be There at the Crossroads

 

Last week I was looking through an old box, searching for letters that Norm and I wrote to each other before we got married. I didn't find the letters but instead found an old journal from 1987. Look below and see my handwriting when I was a ten year old girl living in San Diego. We’d just moved there from Grand Junction, and I talked about missing our cat, about making new friends, going to Disneyland with my dad and my brother.



It was really fun to read through this old journal. I'm glad I wrote that stuff down! 



In the middle of these memories from 1987, I was also searching for a quote about mothers and their great influence on their kids. And the quote was something like “be there at the crossroads” when your children are coming and going.

Turns out that the quote I was searching for also came from the late 80's. A brilliant church leader and prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, talked to the women and spent time encouraging and reminding us why motherhood is important.

"Mothers in Zion, your God-given roles are so vital to your own exaltation and to the salvation and exaltation of your family. A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.

With love in my heart for the mothers in Zion, I would now like to suggest ten specific ways our mothers may spend effective time with their children...

Be at the Crossroads. First, take time to always be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going—when they leave and return from school, when they leave and return from dates, when they bring friends home. Be there at the crossroads whether your children are six or sixteen. In Proverbs we read, “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). Among the greatest concerns in our society are the millions of latchkey children who come home daily to empty houses, unsupervised by working parents...


Catch the teaching moments. This can be done anytime during the day—at mealtime, in casual settings, or at special sit-down times together, at the foot of the bed at the end of the day, or during an early morning walk together. Mothers, you are your children’s best teacher..." 

Later he quoted a gentleman remembering his mother, many years after his childhood, saying this: "I wonder if she realizes how much sheer love and attention count for in a child’s life.”

Ezra Taft Benson 1987 If you want to read his entire remarks, go here. It was a great reminder to me.


This morning I was out walking for a few minutes after getting Amber to school, and I texted Karly to ask her to call me as soon as she was downstairs in the kitchen. Our teenagers' cell phones all "sleep" in the kitchen, so I knew she'd check her phone first thing when she got downstairs. When she called I turned around and headed home. It cut my walk short but was worth it so I could spend some time with my cute teenage daughter. She’s the only kid home from 8-8:30 am and it's a fun time together. I can ask questions, she can tell me about different teachers and which classes are easy or hard. She can catch me up on gossip and spill all the tea. ;) I’m so glad I came home and spent that time with her. After I drove her to school, I showered lightning fast and got ready for a thing I had at 9am this morning. But the best half hour of my day was hearing her talk. When somebody called at 8:20, she ran over to check my phone, and I asked her not to answer it unless it was really important. It was somebody we love, but with a detail that wasn’t urgent. She said the cutest thing, “Mom, if I answer it then I can’t talk with you.” It melted my heart. So she came back and sat on the floor with me and we kept talking for a few more minutes. 

The crossroads for us include time in the car, when I'm driving to school. I'm not making her ride the bus because it gives us that extra time to spend at home and then in the car on the way to school. And I learned an important thing today at pickup. If she's super grumpy when she gets in the car afterschool, don't take it personally because she really doesn't like her last period class. Good to know. 

That's it for now on crossroads and my decision to keep being here for all the interesting details. I like it. I'm glad I get to be home.


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