Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tommy Gave A Talk

Last week Tommy came home from Primary with a note that he was assigned to give a talk on Sunday. He has said the prayer, the scripture, the article of faith, all of the other things, but he's never done a talk before, probably because they asked him what he wanted to do and he would never in a million years chose to speak. 

I casually mentioned it a couple of times during the week, and silently prayed that I'd have the patience with him to deal when he had a meltdown about it. 

On Saturday after doing a few chores I told him that now would be a great time to prepare his talk for primary. He freaked. I prayed again, took a deep breath and asked him how he felt about giving a talk. He told me it freaked out his brains because he doesn't know the words. I told him we get to make up the words. He didn't know how. I told him I'd help him to prepare today and that I'd go up with him on Sunday. He calmed a little and asked how he'd know what to say. I told him we would just talk about it today, then he could practice and that I'd whisper the words in his ear. He decided he was willing to look at some pictures if I wanted. I did. 

The topic was that Jesus is the Son of Heavenly Father. Which pretty much seems to me like the whole talk in that sentence. I mean, really what else is there to say? So we looked through our pictures and he picked some that made him think of Jesus (because they are pictures of Jesus). And he told me about them. 

He picked 2 nativity pictures. 1 of Jesus calming the sea. 1 of Jesus praying in Gethsemane. 1 of the Resurrected Christ. 1 of Joseph Smith's first vision. And That One Of Christ That Everybody Knows. 

I asked him to tell me about those pictures and he did. 

"This is a picture of when Jesus was born in a stable. And see all those guys? They came too."
"This is a picture of Jesus and Mary and Dad." 
"This is a picture of that BIG BIG SCARY STORM. Here I'll act it out for you."
"This is when Jesus was praying by a tree."
"This is Jesus and some angels going 'dooo toooo doooooo!'"
"This is Joseph and some guys."
"This is Jesus again."

I helped him flesh out a few of those ideas. "This is Jesus again." became "This is Jesus, his father was Heavenly Father, and Heavenly Father is my father and your father. That means we are all brothers and sisters." and I reminded him of the word "resurrected" for the 'doo tooo doooooo' picture. But beyond that, this was pretty much his talk. 

We practiced a couple of times in front of Dad & Little John (who paid attention almost as well as the sunbeams in primary.) And Tommy even let Josh comb his hair "like a missionary" instead of insisting on his usual favorite style of "this side like a missionary and that side like a rock star!" 

I was probably a little unreasonably proud of him when he stood up and shared his ideas in primary. He even remembered a few of his own descriptions, but mostly listened to me and repeated the talk we wrote in sticky notes on the backs of all of those pictures. He did so with a smile and while looking at the people he was talking to. And when he was done, he hopped off the stool, and gave me a high five and went to join his class.

Meanwhile, Little John sat there on the front row of Sunbeams listening, and smiling and gave me a big thumbs up when we were done and loudly asked. "Now is MY turn mom?" I told him maybe another week. (Heaven help us.) 

Sometimes I really like that church asks us to do things that make us nervous or uncomfortable and I really REALLY like that proud feeling when it's done.

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