So, between geese, and dating stories, and our Alabama trip, and my birthday, there have been quite a few posts here detailing different activities in my past, but really not all that much talking about what's going on in the present.
That's what this post is for.
And, actually, to be honest, there isn't all that much going on in the present. Work has been good. Recently I've been able to just charge through my "to do" stack, which has been a real treat. I don't know if I've gotten more efficient or if my workload has decreased, but either way, I'll take it. (Is it sad that my definition of "a real treat" is an empty in-basket? I think not.)
Church has been good. It's hard for me to believe that I ever felt like I didn't fit in with my ward members. I feel totally comfortable there now. Sunday (as you know) was Easter, and I'm reasonably sure that at least half of the children in our primary had enjoyed jelly beans and Cadbury Eggs for breakfast that day, because I've never ever seen them so riled up. When that happens, I try to get them settled down by "talking turkey" to them, telling them that I understand how it feels to want to jump and play and talk loudly ('cause man, I totally understand how that feels), but explaining the practical and spiritual reasons why we need to be quiet. At the same time, I try not to pull the guilt-inducing "if you were good little children, you would be reverent just because we are in Jesus' house" speech that used to make me feel so manipulated when I was a child.
This Sunday, I was teaching the children a new song, and I started by showing them a picture. I asked them if they had ever seen this particular picture before, and immediately all reverence was lost as a room full of children all loudly started yelling about how they sure had never seen that picture before, no sir-ee. I stopped them and said something along the lines of, "Now, you all know that we can't just blurt things out or yell things out in here. If you want to answer my question, I need you to raise your hand, and I will call on you." Immediately, 20 little hands shot into the air.
Pleased with (and a little overconfident about) my success, I turn to the group and say, "Nice! Thank you! Okay. Let's try this again. Have any of you ever seen this picture before?"
Four year old Isaac lowers his hand. "No."
"Okay, thank you for raising your hand. Bethany?"
Six year old Bethany lowers her hand. "No."
"Umm, all right. Has anyone seen this picture before? Dallen?"
Five year old Dallen lowers his hand. "No."
(I am now alternating between wanting to laugh hysterically and wanting to cry out of exasperation ): "Okay. Thank you all. This time, I only want those people who have seen this picture to raise their hands. Anyone who hasn't seen this picture before can put their hands down."
Sixteen hands come down, leaving just one hand, that of nearly-eight-year-old-Erin, still waving in the air.
"Erin, have you seen this picture before?"
"Where have you seen it?"
"Here, in Primary."
(this is not quite the answer I'm looking for, but I forge ahead)
"When did you see it?"
"A few minutes ago, when you held it up for the first time and asked if any of us had ever seen it before."
That's just a sampling. Things went downhill from there. I had to laugh. Sometimes things just work like magic. And then sometimes, like when you have a room full of children who are pumped up on sugar and good times, things just barely work at all. Oh well. It was just primary singing time, when you come down to it, right? I made a valiant effort, and I sincerely doubt that anyone lost their testimony or will one day need therapy due to anything I said or did last Sunday. Sometimes that's the best I can hope for.