Sunday, January 31, 2010

So Responsible

Being the fifth Sunday this month, we had combined meetings today. They had a special topic for all the sisters in the ward, Young Women and Relief Society. The Teachers, Priests, and their leaders taught Primary while the sisters all went to their special meeting. The Elders and High Priests also met together.

I was in the back of the Primary room just kind of watching for any situations that might need a little help during closing exercises. Robby, one of my previous scouts who is almost 16 turned around a couple times to point out how loud my son was. I had been out of the room for a few minutes and never saw him being out of control, but supposedly he was while I was gone. Robby told me that they were able to get him under control by giving him something to eat.

I know my son can get a little excited sometimes, but usually in large groups or around people he doesn't know as well, he gets pretty quiet. I won't know what really happened while I was gone, but the part that I thought was most interesting was that it was Robby who was being so responsible in having to help deal with someone who was having a hard time paying attention and being quiet. Robby was usually one of those who had the same problem. We actually called him to be the Deacon's Quorum president with the idea that by keeping him as close as we could to us it might be possible to at least aim his boundless energy, even if it were impossible to control it.

Now there he was today, doing everything he could, including bribing a younger child with treats, to try to get the child to pay attention during a lesson and other activities, probably using some of the same tricks that have been used on him over the years. By the time I got there, the situation was under control, so whatever he did worked. He's become so responsible. I just can't wait to see him 10 years from now with kids of his own, serving as SM himself.


Michael, one of my boys who is a little more rambunctious than some, can jump back and forth between being the sweetest kid in the world to being a total hellion. At least you never have to wonder which one it is. You will always know what he is up to. There's no sneaking around or hiding emotions with him.

I had been teaching a Sunday lesson a few months ago where most of the boys were being rowdier than normal. After trying to ignore them or redirect their conversation for as long as I could stand it, I finally blew my top a little. Now, with me, that's actually a pretty rare occurrence, and a calculated one at that. That is, I'll let the anger loose a little for show.

So I let them have it, sucked out any spirit that was left in our quorum meeting, and started trying to get back into the lesson. A few minutes later, Michael was the one who had the misfortune to be the first to act out of line again, and I actually did let it go. My patience had been worn down enough, and with the spirit gone as it was, I harshly told him he was dismissed from the class.

He actually looked a little scared as he left the room, and the Bishop's counselor followed him out to talk to him for a minute. I felt bad the rest of the meeting. I saw his dad in the hall after church and told him what happened, just so he'd have my explanation of what happened before he got Michael's explanation.

After talking to his dad, I immediately biked over to his house, which is just a couple blocks from the church, and apologized to him. I can't really even remember what I said, just something about appreciating him in our quorum, and I shouldn't have kicked him out, and we can work together, etc. He seemed to be okay with it.

Over the next month or so, nothing seemed to be much different one way or another, other than I was still feeling bad. Then I was sitting next to him in quorum meeting several weeks later when someone else was teaching. The whole time we were making little jokes back and forth about whatever, to the point that we would just look at each other and start laughing. I kept it under control as much as possible, disrupting the class as little as possible, but there was a little bond forged there. Ever since then, he often says things about how he wants to sit by me so we can joke around or that we know what each other is thinking without even having to say anything.

We learn in Scouts and elsewhere that as teams and relationships develop, something that really bonds people is going through hard things together. Never stressing or testing a relationship means that the relationship has never been properly forged to begin with.

While down inside I still feel bad for kicking Michael out of class that day, I know he doesn't. He would say something if he did, since you always knows what he's thinking, good or bad. I've also grown to respect him more than I did before. Having worked through some frustration with him and seeing the ease with which he could forgive and forget, he has been an example to me.