Monday, March 26, 2012

Wild pack of boys (and other tales from the Primary)

If you know me at all, you know that I don't really like little kids.  I didn't even like being a little kid.  Needless to say, when I got a calling to teach in the Primary, I said,

"Sure."

What, did you think I was a jerk?  Of course I accepted the calling, and I usually do my best to teach those little rugamuffins.  I would say always, but I work a grave shift on Saturday night, so let's face it, it's not always there on Sunday morning, if you know what I mean.  And alright, so I walked out of class my first week because I couldn't stand it.

But I came back.

This year, Dave and I have a sweet little class of kids who have not yet learned they can misbehave if they so choose.  They sing all the songs, and they believe everything we tell them.  But last year we had an army of eight year old boys (that's the class I walked out of.  I went home and had a sandwich.  It was good).

Now, I use the word army for a reason.

I realized I had an attitude problem.  Sure I said, "Sure."  Sure, I went to Primary each week with a lesson planned.  But I did not like it.  And I thought to myself, "Maybe I don't love Primary, but I can love these little kids.  I mean, they are almost like people."  So I started praying to have love for them.

If you think you have never had a prayer answered, you should pray for something like this because this is one of the prayers the Lord loves to grant.

Often I will look at the Aaronic Priesthood holders in our ward and think about Helaman's stripling warriors.  (You already know I'm fascinated by this scripture account, right?)  In a general way, I pattern the boys in my books after these boys, after the boys I knew in middle school and high school, after the boys from my home ward growing up, and after my brothers and their friends.  So sometimes during the sacrament I read about the stripling army and think about this.  And I think about their female counterparts--their sisters, the girls they came home and married, the girls who were mothers to their children and what role they played in the faithfulness of the warriors.

And one day, I thought about my eight year old boys.

I thought of how somebody diligently taught the striplings the gospel long before they were striplings (that means adolescents).  Like...maybe when they were eight.  And I thought how maybe it was someone like me.  In the scripture account, the boys give the credit to their mothers.  But I'm a mother, and one of those boys is mine.  It's funny how you can know something, read it five hundred times, but it never really hits home until the Spirit burns it on your heart.

The wild pack of boys sits behind us now in Primary.  It's a bit of a relief, yes (sorry Bros. Thompson and Recor. Ha ha!), but I have never, not once, not for one single solitary second looked at those boys the same way since I realized they have to hit "faithful" before *adolescence and that my calling to teach them totally and completely matters.  Big time.  And I definitely love them.

That was fun.  I think I will write more tales from the Primary.  Until next time, folks.  Have a totally awesome day.

*The age of the Ammonite striplings can be argued to be older than adolescence.  I'm not arguing that with you.

2 comments:

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I teach the cub scouts (also 8 year olds.) I've always liked mischevious little boys, but sometimes it's pretty hard when you're the one who has to get them to behave and listen. So I appreciate this post. You're totally right.

Kristin said...

I smell a story for The Friend in the works. Just sayin.