Still, there are always moments that make it all worth it. Yesterday, I was sitting at the computer and suddenly heard very soft singing behind me. I peeked over my shoulder, trying not to disturb whatever was happening, and found that Gavin (who is 4) was laying next to Ellie and singing "If I had a million dollars...I would buy you a green dress...but not a real green dress, that's cruel...I would buy you a monkey...haven't you always wanted a monKEY," as he carefully stroked her hair. It was adorable. I'm grateful that those little angels were sent to my home.
And then today, as we watched conference this morning, Bryce took notes and after each talk he gave me an overview of what the speaker had said. Sometimes he only caught key phrases, not the real meaning in the talk, but I was so impressed that he was trying so hard to get it.
And then President Monson spoke about serving others, sharing many brief stories that were told to him by children and youth. I watched as my children laughed and listened to his urging for us to be more service centered. I listened after his talk as they told me ways they thought our family could help others. I could not have been more proud.
As a mom, you don't get a regular paycheck, there aren't 401k programs, medical benefits or company Christmas bonuses. However, the paydays that do come are much more memorable, and much longer lasting. The moments when children make good choices, take care of one another, reach out to others in need, learn something difficult, or are just happy make my heart swell and I try (like Mary) to keep all these things. A better job, there is not in this world.
(Lest you think our children quietly sit and listen and ponder the words spoken at general conference--ha ha ha--let me just say we ask kids over 8 to listen to one full session and anyone younger we have listen when the prophet speaks...we give them a conference bingo board to fill out to try to help them focus a little. Although we have conference on every radio in the house hoping that bits and pieces will ooze into the kids brains, we mostly just try to keep the din to a low rumble so that we can hear some of what is said.)