Today, I'll be spending my Labor Day by trying to finish my assigned readings for Unit 2, working on my discussion questions and my project for Arts & Humanities, working on the Monkey Blanket's border, knitting on the Willow sock when I'm not able to work on the other, and eventually going out to pick Dante up from his friend's house. Yesterday he and two boys from his Young Men's group came over to play for a while and then they all decided to keep the party going by going over to one of the boy's to spend the night. I wasn't too sure if that would be a good idea, with him starting school in two days and needing to get up early in the morning over the next few days so that he can start to readjust...but then I though about the peace and quiet of his being somewhere else for the night and I just couldn't turn it down, lol. I know these boys pretty well as I had them all in primary so I know what can happen when they all get together. I sure hope they weren't too much trouble for that poor Sister. They probably ate her out of house and home, because they almost did that to me when they were here for lunch. Who knew how much teenage/pre-teen boys can eat?! I went through 5 cans of tuna, and about half a loaf of bread just for lunch! Not to mention the chips and the drinks. But I happened to be stocked with bread and drinks just in case we got his by Earl (who decided to go elsewhere) so I had plenty. I guess I got hit by hurricane "Fortes, Gomes, & Washington" instead :)
This whole think was foreign to me because in my neighborhood, I'm the 'mean mom'. Kids rarely come to the door to ask if Dante can come out. We only have one who's brave enough to ask to come over and play. No one has ever asked to stay overnight. If I catch Dante doing something foolish, I'll address it (usually inside but occasionally right on the spot), and if the other kids are a part of it, I'll be sure to include them in the scolding. Last week I had to seriously adjust Dante's attitude and because he's 13 now, he got a little cocky and wanted to know why I wanted him to come inside...so I told him exactly why he needed to come inside...right in front of his little friends. Then I told them all that they should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. So, given all of this, it was a little strange for me to see that so many of the young men wanted to come over to my house. I only had room in the car for two, and had to promise the third that he could come over next Sunday. My husband says that it's because the kids at church are totally different than the people who live in this neighborhood (which is true), and because these kids all really know me. They know I can be strict, but I love them all and I'm really a nice person under the intimidating surface. It was really nice to see that they were so fond of me.
The whole time I was serving in Primary, I never realized how the kids felt about me or my presidency. So yesterday was my first day taking Alex down and leaving him there on his own. Before I could leave, the new president took me aside for a minute and said that the kids were really sad about the sudden change and she wanted to if I would like to do a guest-sharing time in the near future. I was so excited about the idea and I jumped at it! I was so tired of sharing time by the time that Heather came back from Utah that I thought I'd be pleased if I never had to do it again...and then I got that wish and was beside myself. The idea of coming down and teaching sharing time for an afternoon made me so happy that I almost cried. And then I went up the stairs to class and had to hold myself together because I missed those kids. And then I got into class and relaxed because I was learning things at an adult level, and I really did miss it, but I think I love those kids more. I got all of my manuals and I tried to get caught up on the current lessons, and before I knew it it was time to go down and pick up Alex. And when I came downstairs to get him, several of the kids came up to me and told me all about what they'd done in sharing time, lol. One boy told me that he'd earned two stickers because he gave both prayers. Another told me what he'd done in the lesson. And a third was dressed up in a dress-shirt that used to be Dante's. He looked so nice in his dress clothes, and I made sure to tell him so, and he looked really proud of himself. They were all really excited to see me, and I never realized that they'd all loved me like I love them. It was just like when I come home after work and the boys are telling me what the did that day, even before I have both feet in the door. So now, I just have to wonder how I can help these kids now that I'm no longer in the Primary. Other than supporting the new primary leaders by volunteering my time if they need help, I'm not sure what more I can do, but I'm sure that the Bishop will think of something.
And on that note, I'm off to spend the rest of this holiday weekend doing homework.