To all you parents out there who participate in the yearly LDS ritual of the Primary Presentation, please heed my warning. When your children beg you not to take them to the practice the day before and assure you that they know their parts, "besides," they say to you. "I can just read my part up there." Don't listen to them. Don't do it I tell you!! THEY NEED TO PRACTICE!
To make a short story long, let me start by telling you about our day yesterday. We had no less than 4 things scheduled at about the same time. I told my family weeks ago I would help with the yard sale at my grandmother's house yesterday. Which is a major undertaking for any average home, but for my grandmother's house it's a feat of astronomical proportions. My aunts and Grandfather had been working really hard in the house to prepare for it. The least I could do is help at the yard sale. First let me tell you what our schedule was supposed to be for the day.
6am - Yard Sale
8am - Mike and Sammi clean the church building with the youth
10am - Primary practice
10am - Humanitarian Project (I am one of the people in charge)
11am - Baby shower for an old friend.
So to say that my head was spinning was an understatement. I woke up my kids at 5 am to go to my grandpa's house. Sammi came with me instead of going to clean up the church building. Mike stayed home to attend the service project. It took us until noon before everything was out for the sale. People started shopping around 8am but Bonnie continued to work hard at bringing more items out for the sale. It went really well I think. My kids were having such a good time that they didn't want to leave which is when they began begging to skip the practice. I had a conversation with Jessi where I asked her if she knew her part for the program. She said, "I just need to tell my favorite Book of Mormon story which is easy. My favorite one is where Nephi gathers his sons and asks which of them want to be king. They all say none of them because they want to go on a mission." She says confidently. I then correct her and say, "That wasn't Nephi who did that." She says, "Oh yeah, it was Alma." Again I say, "NO, it was King Mosiah and one of his sons was named Ammon. Is that who you are doing the story on?" She smiles and says, "Yeah, that's what I meant." I then told her we would talk about it later as the hot AZ sun didn't seem to own a calendar to remember that October shouldn't have weather near the hundreds. The sun was frying my brain, and I was too tired to deal with it all at that moment. So I blew everything else off, primary practice, humanitarian project, baby shower. Everything except the yard sale. There we stayed helping as long as we could. Going home I was too tired to deal with anything. Did I even remember my conversation with Jessi earlier? No of course not! When did I remember that conversation? Oh, how about when we are sitting in the pew at church, the program had already started and a little boy got up to talk about his favorite bible story. His story was written out and beautifully rehearsed. I could tell his mother had spent plenty of time preparing such a great little talk. I was feeling quite relieved that I hadn't had to do that with any of my children when the conversation with Jessi from the day before popped into my head. NO!!! I must have looked like a deer in the headlights as the children began to sing "Book of Mormon" stories. I turned to Mike and told him in my most terrified voice what was about to happen. Because we both know Jessi well enough to know that she wouldn't be daunted by the fact that she hadn't practiced what she was going to say. What was his loving, supportive response? He laughed. Before she even said a word his face was beet red from laughing. The singing stopped and I look up to see my Jessi at the microphone glorying in the moment. I put on my best I'm the mom and I know exactly what my child is going to say face. Then she began to "wing" it. "My favorite Book of Mormon story is when King Mosiah's sons went on missions to the Nephites. Then when they came home their dad asked them who wanted to be King." So far so good, she even got King Mosiah's name right. I'm starting to breath easier and even gave her a thumbs up. "They told him that they didn't want to be king because they wanted to preach to the Nephites." At which point I mouthed the word Lamanites. "Oh, I mean Lamanites. So Ammon went to the king of the Lamanites and asked if he could be his servant. He said yes and Ammon watched the sheep. So he was watching the sheep and everything and these people came and ran at the sheep and made them go here and there." She was using hand gestures at this point to show the sheep being scattered. "So Ammon told his companions to gather the sheep, but then the guys came again, so Ammon got out his sling" She starts swinging her arm around in circles to show how he would have used the sling. "And he threw rocks and stuff at them" please don't talk about the cut off arms, please not the cut off arms... was going through my head. "Then the brother of the leader of the other guys got killed cuz, well Ammon killed him." well at least she didn't mention the cut off arms. "So what happened was a while later the king was sleeping for like two days" I really have to apologize to those people reading who have never heard this book of mormon story before, because this is no way an accurate telling. "Everyone thought he was dead, they were saying 'he's dead' and all that stuff" I no longer am looking at my daughter at this point, my head is bent down with my hands over my face laughter shaking my body like an earthquake. "then the other people fall down on the ground like thier dead too. And the the leader of the sheep guys wants to kill Ammon because he's on the ground but he couldn't." The whole congregation is laughing, no one can help it, politeness can only go so far. She looks out at the laughter and starts laughing herself. "Well, I guess that's all." She says then she walked off. The whole bishopric was red with laughter and everyone of them was looking right at me! Of course they were, I'm the mom after all, I should have known what was coming. I know they probably thought it was just cute and endearing, and if it was someone else's kid I would have thought the same thing. Mike pointed out to me that she was just repeating the video version of the story that we haven't watching in eons because we have it on VHS and no longer have a VCR, which I then realized was true.
So the moral of the story is when your children comes home with their parts for the primary program, read them (I know I'm a slacker.) Don't assume that they can just read their perfectly scripted part off the paper on the podium (I bet you she gets a scripted part next year.) And DON'T, I repeat, DO NOT believe your kids when they say "My part's so easy mom I don't need to go to the practice."