Sunday, December 13, 2009

Children--What a Blessing

The year T was born, there were a whole bunch of boys born in our ward. I think there ended up being about thirteen of them altogether and one girl. This is now the group I have in nursery. Many have moved out of and into our ward, but there are a few of those original baby boys who are now three and in my class. I also have the sweetest set of triplets (girls) that I just love to pieces.
I am now facing the reality that as of the first of the year, these kids will be leaving me. They will all go into Primary, and I will start over with the eighteen-month-olds in 2010. I am feeling sad about not having my fun, sweet kids that I've had these past few months. Maybe someday I'll get to be with them again in some capacity.

I got to thinking just now about what makes the difference with kids. I'm learning that all they need to know is that you love them unequivocally; that you're not going to let them get away with being a turkey, but even if they try, you're still going to be there and will still love them.

The lesson that I'm being taught over and over again lately is found in D&C 121:41-44. This applies to everything in life. That increase in love part is magical.

My sister, after being released as stake YW president, was called as a Primary teacher. She shared with me what she did for her kids. Her plan included a visit to each child's house and a small gift--a CTR ring (as that was the class she was teaching). I thought this was a great idea, so after moving into our current ward and being called as the sunbeam teacher, I thought I'd follow her good example. I made appointments with each of the mothers of the kids I had in my class and went to visit each child. I took a photo of each as I visited them and took them a sticker and a balloon. I had a little chat with each one, so they knew I was going to be their new teacher.

Little did I know what a huge difference this little extra effort would do for these kids and for my relationship with them. There were two sunbeam classes. As we sat in opening exercises, the contrast between the classes was stark. I had virtually no behavior problems with my group. They sat like angels and were very respectful, obedient and reverent. It was heavenly.

That was the year my mom died. It was a tough year, but every Sunday, I looked forward to being with my sunbeams.

A few days after my mom's passing, one of my boys, Ammon, appeared at my doorstep with his mom. She had a large camelia plant in her arms and said, "Ammon was feeling bad about your mom's passing. He told me he needed to get you something. I was standing at the checkout at the nursery with a smaller plant than this, ready to buy it, and Ammon stopped me. He said, 'No mom, not that one....that one,' and he was pointing to this, so this is Ammon's fault."


I laughed at her explanation but was very touched as I realized that the plant Ammon had chosen for me was exactly the plant that my mother saw from our kitchen window in the house I grew up in. It was the exact color. I was so impressed because that particular plant brought my mom close. Z went out that next weekend and planted that camelia bush in the perfect spot in our yard, so I'd be able to see it from our kitchen window--proportionate to where my mom would have seen it in her backyard.

Children are special. What a blessing it is to be in their presence. I appreciate how they have touched my life. I'm grateful for those who have shown love to me so unconditionally which they are so good at. I've loved working with these nursery kids. Oh how I will miss them.

4 comments:

Nikia, May and da kids said...

I love the way you made appointments and got to know each child personally. What a beautiful difference it did and will make when you take the time to show that you care. In return you were rewarded with something so very meaningful. That story warms my heart.

May

Danielle said...

You are such a sweet woman Julie. I truly appreciate you serving in nursery. You are kind and patient, and that makes a mom of crazy little boy feel good. As I saw those little boys sitting in Primary today shaking their jingle bells I started to tear up at how grown up they are.

Thank you for your kind heart.

Tonya said...

I am always amazed at how you are able to tie gospel principles into your daily life happenings. I love that you went to visit each child. That was so sweet of you. No wonder they love you so much. Julie, you are seriously an amazing person and I learn SO MUCH from you.

Darilyn said...

You are such a great example. Those little things can make a difference and it's good to be reminded of that.

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