Monday, September 29, 2008

Behold your little ones

Yesterday Amanda and I started our first day of our new church calling, teaching the CTR 6B class (there are two, of which we were given the tamer group). Now as a general rule, kids make me rather uneasy; children, much like dogs, can sense my fear and (justifiably) like me less for it. 

Unfortunately, the calling means that we're gong to have to be much more punctual than we're used to being. Sunday school might start twenty minutes late, but primary actually starts almost on time; the kids with late parents just miss the opening song. On the plus side, however, I get to be with Amanda for the whole block of church.

Who, you might be asking yourself right now, would trust us with their children? Ironically enough, the second councillor in the bishopric, the father of one of our class, is the one who offered us the calling. He didn't even seem worried that we might teach him things that he might not agree with.

We told our class that Jesus drank wine.

I know that their well-intentioned parents were simply trying to keep their world a little simpler. It's also possible that their parents honestly believe that Jesus actually drank grape juice, citing the fact that the Greek words would be the same. Still, I don't believe in teaching half-truths or faith-promoting lies; how can we expect kids to be able to the tell the difference between Santa or the Tooth Fairy (who are patent fabrications we claim are real) and God (who is real but whose characteristics are complicated and often uncertain)? Why should they believe us when we tell them that God is real after they find out we lied to their faces about where their Christmas presents come from?

All told, I'm surprised at how attached I already am. Our kids, Taft, Anna, Kaela, and Tayan (I think I screwed up the spelling of that last name, but that's what you have to expect when you invent names), all seem incredibly smart and earnest. We made cranes and colored them during class and Kaela's turned out better than mine (this is the girl who said that she wanted to be an artist when she grows up. Once, she apparently made a plate into a frisbee!). They seem to like me well enough too--they picked me to wear the silly sombrero (picture forthcoming when I remeber to bring our camera to church) when they won the contest for who could sing loudest. I have some ideas already about how I make class fun for them as well as teach them some things that will probably help them.

I think I might just be overwhelmed the by sentimentality of it all. I still have very fond memories of teachers I've had the past. The Holts, Brothers Krieg, Aamodt, Birkensha, Jefferson, Carter, and Sanders, as well as Sister Price all taught me to be a better person. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to be a good and memorable teacher to those kids like I've had in the past. That is, of course, if they don't release me from my calling first for teaching them that Jesus drank alcohol.


direfloyd said...

This isn't some trick to try to get you two to increase the population of Mormania sooner than later is it? =) Kidding, one of my favorite jobs was being a swim coach back in Kentwood for the 8 and under age group. There were only three girls so it gave me plenty of time to make them perfect the butterfly stroke which earned them all medals at the end of the year.

Amber said...

sounds like your first week went well. :)

ke said...

This is me laughing delightedly and aloud.

I would pay to have you teach my children, I'm sooo excited! ke

Robert said...

I just finished Bushman's biography of Joseph Smith and it seems brother Joseph was also known to enjoy wine from time to time, even post-Word of Wisdom.

I'm leaving the church now.