November 14th, 2021


The Primary Program

Today was the fateful day of the Primary Program. It's been tricky this year getting ready, because ideally, you're teaching the kids the songs throughout the year, but first there was the covid preventing us from actually having meetings, and then when we were able to meet again, a lot of the time we'd have half the kids one week and the other half the next because of people staying home sick or being out of town on vacation or whatever. It just really felt like we couldn't build any traction, so as it got down to the wire, Athena made little songbooks for the kids and handed them out.

Two weeks ago, we could see that the songbooks had paid off, because for Singing Time, Athena just did a rundown of all the songs in the program, and the kids sang beautifully, and you could hear them and everything--it was amazing. Last week, we had the program rehearsal did not go nearly as well. Needless to say, we were a little concerned about how things were going to turn out today. The kids had been told to show up early so we could prepare before sacrament meeting, so after doing all the last-minute prep we could, Athena called the kids to attention (you think they were paying attention while everyone practiced their parts? Don't be silly!) and said a prayer to close the practice. At that moment, the kids were all so reverent and the Spirit was really strong.

Long story short, the program went really well, and we did have people in tears, which of course is the goal. ...Okay, I'm mostly kidding about that. Frankly, even I was tearing up at the last song.

After sacrament meeting, we all met in the Primary room where Athena could tell the kids how impressed she was that they did such a good job. The Primary President asked us if we could have the kids sing "I Will Walk with Jesus" again for the bishop, because he was sitting on the stand operating the podium (changing the height for the bigger and littler kids), so he wasn't facing the children when they did all the sign language. We were told we were waiting for something before we could set the kids loose to get the treats that had been supplied, but what we were actually waiting for was the bouquets that the Primary Presidency got for Athena and me!

I was genuinely surprised, even though our friends who drive us to church texted us last week to ask what our favorite flowers were. So I was surprised, and then immediately, "Now I know what they were asking for." Of course, Athena's favorite flowers are daffodils, and those are out of season, so they apologized about that, but we really just love anything bright and colorful that says someone was thinking about us, so we love them even without daffodils. They were mostly roses and lilies, and they're beautiful. To be honest, we have noticed that most of the time when Primary Programs come along, everybody who says anything thanks the Primary Presidency, and we can't help being like, "Come on, you know the song leader's done a lot of heavy lifting." But they rarely mention the song leader. It's usually only a mild annoyance and then we move on with our lives, but nevertheless, it was nice to get some recognition. And I do want to say to all the bishoprics and stake leaders out there: remember to also thank the Primary Song Leader!

As for me as the pianist, I feel like I get the easy job--I just show up and have fun. But they tell me the accompaniment is important, too, so I'll accept the recognition. (And I do understand that the songs wouldn't be the same a cappella.)

So today has been a pretty nice day. And it also came with our new ward music director letting us know that he's now offering ukulele lessons! If we can just find a buddy to take us, we're so gonna learn the ukulele.

Today I'm thankful for the Primary Program going well, the beautiful bouquets we received from the Primary Presidency, the prospect of ukulele lessons, charming British reality shows, and not having to wake up extra early next week.