Thursday, November 4, 2010

Primarily Prepared

Church with a 15-month-old is an interesting experience. While I wear a path in the carpet walking back and forth in the halls during my meetings, I sometimes think: "Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?" The other day I stood up from our bench, hoisted Diddles onto my hip, and then instinctively paused to make sure all my clothes were modestly in place. With three restless kids, sometimes sacrament meeting is like a "reverent" wrestling match, I tell you ! Not every week, but some weeks I hear a quiet voice in my head asking, "Is this really worth it? Why even bother?"

I had the privilege to sit down with Boo's Kindergarten teacher last week for a parent/teacher conference. It was great. We sat together and discussed Kindergarten, the state learning goals, Boo's progress, and any questions I had.

The discussion briefly led to where we moved from (Utah), and she asked if we were LDS. I told her we were. Then she said something so interesting: "I so admire the way that your church...your community, prepares their children to learn. I find that LDS children come to Kindergarten and know how to share well with others, they are able to follow directions, they are able to sit still, and they are able to speak in front of a group." Then she said, "Although I am a Lutheran, I feel accepted and loved as a part of your community. I was particularly touched with the outreach of love during my bought with cancer." I assured her that she is an essential part of our community, that we loved her, and hoped that she felt it.

Although it was nice to learn about Boo's progress, and visit with her teacher, I came home thinking about our Church and the Primary.

I had never really thought about it that way. Is it possible that in addition to learning the wonderful Gospel "essentials" that we are also learning skills to prepare us to become lifelong learners? Although there is some overlap of teaching between home and church (as there should be), I'm happy that many of these "skills" are learned in Primary. Nursery, for example, is all about sharing - sharing germs (haha), sharing toys, sharing snacks! Just think of all the things they learn in Primary: Raising your hand, taking turns, helping the teacher, memorizing songs and scriptures, singing, following directions, etc. How many Kindergarteners can say that they've helped write and prepare a talk to be delivered in front of their teachers and peers? How many have taken part in a musical presentation in front of their entire congregation?

Boo and Yaks love their primary teachers, and I'm so grateful for them. The kids beg to be the one to teach the lesson for Family Home Evening, so we take time at the end for both of them to teach us (usually consists of talking about a picture from the Gospel Art Kit). It's so fun to hear their teacher's "voice" while they teach.

Boo: "Who can tell me about this picture? That's right, it's Jesus with the children! What are some things that make Jesus happy?"

Yaks: "I'm going to tell you duh story of David and Goliaf (clears throat). David killed a lion...and a bear. Den one day, a giant came and said, 'send one man to fight me!'. Do you think David was scared? (Boo desperately waving her arm to be called on) No, he wasn't!... (Boo lets out exasperated sigh)"

The other night we watched a movie while Josh was at mutual, and it ended pretty late for the kids. I walked them upstairs and we had family prayers and personal prayers. We've started reading a verse each from the Book of Mormon each night, but I felt too tired to tackle it on my own. I tucked Yaks into bed and the following conversation took place:

Yaks: Mom! We forgot to read duh Bible (we read from my large triple-combination)!
Me: Oh, buddy, it's okay. We'll just skip it tonight and read two verses tomorrow.
Yaks: (thinking) Is dat okay wiff Jesus?
Me: Is what okay with Jesus, buddy?
Yaks: Is it okay wiff Jesus that we skip the scriptures?
Me: I think it would make Him happy if we read the scriptures. Let's DO IT! :)

I hustled down the hall, grabbed the scriptures, collected Boo from here room, and we read our scriptures. How could we not? Taught by my child. It was awesome!

And it's times like these, when our kids share their small testimonies - which are often the greatest testimonies of all, that I can hear that little voice again ask, "Is it worth it?" I can confidently answer, it most DEFINITELY is.


Brianne said...


Dianna said...

Even before I saw the above comment that Brianne wrote, I was going to write the same thing. So . . . . AMEN!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

True, the social things they're learning. Alright, we'll still go and pace the halls. ;)

Carrie said...

I have felt exactly like you stated, and hadn't thought of the flip side of things. Thank you for sharing this insight... I too will continue to "Go and pace the halls." :)

Sally said...

that photo of yaks is so great!

Tim said...

Amy, this was such an awesome post. Can I make a suggestion? When you and Josh get older and the kids are out of the house, you should write a book! "The Things My Children Taught Me" or something along that line. You've had so many cool experiences I think it would be worth reading! Just a thought. :)

Liz said...

I agree. Thanks for the post.

Amy said...

*Sally - Isn't that a great picture? He actually fell asleep like that one night. Josh caught it on his camera phone.

Sunny said...

You have such a great way of capturing reality in your posts, even the ups and downs of motherhood & church service. Great post. We miss you guys.

Mary Jane said...

Thanks for that. It's good to keep it in perspective. I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor who walks the halls with Charlie so I can be in primary.