It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about my 4-5 year olds at church. But yesterday is worth recording. There is one little boy in the class who just has a lot of energy. And sometimes his energy tries my patience.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I only really like children I’m related to. And, of course, I love those children. But I’m talking basics. Like, I don’t just not love kids I’m not related to…I don’t even like them. (I bet you are thinking about how much you wish I was your child’s teacher at church right now.) There are some exceptions (and all of you out there that I know who have children, just go ahead and assume that your kids are the exception). And when I say I don’t like, I don’t mean I dislike them. I’m just indifferent.
Anyway, I’m only telling you all of this so you’ll appreciate what I’m going to tell you next.
When I got asked to teach the four year olds at church, I was a little worried about this problem I have. (I do think it’s a problem…I’m not completely without feeling.) You know, you hear stories about people being given callings (that’s what we Mormons call the responsibilities we’re asked to fulfill at church) and just having an outpouring of love for the people they are serving. But I wasn’t buying it.
Wouldn’t it be funny if I just ended this post right now and said, “And guess what, I still don’t like these kids”? But would I really be writing about this if that was the end of the story? Let’s hope not.
So, it’s been about four or five months now (I think) and last week was ROUGH. We thought we were making progress, but it was not the best day ever. And I left church once again feeling like the mean teacher who just disciplines the kids because they cannot behave.
And then this week was a dream. There’s one little boy in particular who’s just been a little more difficult than the others. He’s a good kid, he just has A LOT of energy. As I was sitting in Sharing Time with the kids, he was being so good. I mean, like better than any other kid in the room. He was participating and singing the songs and I might have teared up just a little bit. And I suddenly just loved this little boy. And he was good the rest of the day. Not just better than usual, but really good.
Of course, I attributed this to the fact that he recently started school and so has a little more structure and discipline during the day because it couldn’t be that something had needed to change chez moi. You know where this is going…
Something had changed in me. And I think all of the kids in the class could feel that. I just loved them. I’m not sure how it happened (I’ve been praying it would) or why, but I’m so glad it did. I was excited to see them. I was excited to teach them. And we had an amazing day.
It’s funny just how much kids really can teach us if we are willing to learn from them. And what I learned yesterday was just how much love matters and what a difference it makes when we try to view others the way God views them. Yeah. It’s basic stuff. But sometimes I’m a little slow and/or forgetful. Thankfully I’ve got a bunch of four year olds to keep me honest.