This story begins in church one Sunday morning in early December. At the Elders' Quorum (men's) meeting, I learned that Lizzie's and my church, which had been starting at 10:50 AM was going to start at 8am the coming year.
Lizzie loves going to church, but I knew that going at 8am was going to be a challenge. At the time, Lizzie was taking some medication which made her really drowsy, particularly in the mornings. But we accepted the change and left for our Christmas break.
Christmas this year was with my family in Anaheim, California--famous for the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland. I say "happiest place on earth," but truly, that is a disputed matter: if you like to avoid crowds of people, Disneyland at Christmas is a risky vacation if you want to ensure marketing strategies are correct summations.
To be clear: I love Disneyland. As one example, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the dark is awesome!
So, on this trip to Disneyland, my parents bought us some early morning passes. I love mornings nearly as much as Disneyland, and I would have deeply enjoyed running through turn-styles at 7am with a tired but energetic wife, and catching a few rides with her before the crowd hit (Indiana Jones! Space Mountain!).
My career in romantic idealism aside, I didn't seriously consider acting on my strong emotion for one simple reason:
I care more about church than Disneyland. A lot more. Given how tired Lizzie had been because of the medicine, I decided to not pressure her to get up early for Disneyland, because I knew that the more mornings she spent up early for non-important reasons (Disneyland), the harder it would be getting up for the important reasons.
So we ended up doing our big Disneyland date on a Saturday night instead of a Friday morning. And we ended up going to church at 8am every Sunday until we moved North and changed wards (congregations).
As I prepare to be a parent, I hope I'll remember this story. When I get geared up to help my child do things: baseball tryouts, ballet, playing Tic-tac-toe with me-- or even go to Disneyland with me and shooting targets on the Buzz Lightyear ride-- I hope to never pressure my child to enjoy something good at the expense of enjoying something better.
As Dallin H. Oaks once said:
"We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."
Yes, this is true, even if I have to forgo a blissful 7am ride on "It's a Small World" with my Eternal Companion so it will be easier for her to enjoy church later.