Six, seven years ago, I received the calling to be the Primary pianist, for the first time. At the time, I was newly married, working full time, and teaching piano lessons after work almost every night of the week. I was a little upset that they would put me in primary. I wasn't able to go to any midweek activities, and my visiting teacher was someone I had known (and had dated her cousin) for a while. It was not easy for me to be there every Sunday, and not even have the opportunity to get to know anyone other than the chorister. Granted, that particular ward barely knew any of us young marrieds were in the ward anyway. Most had large families that were either out of the house, or almost out. They were doctors, lawyers, dentists, very successful businessmen/women and the like. While not all were like that, they were in the clear majority. Felt a little out of the loop as it was, and then they put me in a corner (literally) in Primary. I did not come out of that calling very happy.
Fast forward a few years. I did other things like be the Relief Society President, be a counselor in the Primary Presidency, play the piano for sacrament meeting, Girls Camp Director. We move to Fort Bragg, and I am the pianist in Primary yet again. Wasn't too happy about it, but at least this time around I had the opportunity to go to activities, and had a lot more in common with the people I was working with. It turned out to be a pretty good thing. I move to California. The first Sunday I was there (it was my parents ward and they had known me for years) I was asked to be the Primary Pianist. Again.
We move up here, and, thankfully, the ward split about four months after we got here. Before we get home from our road trip in August, I get a phone call. Would I play the piano in Primary until they can get someone else? Sure.
Today, they got someone else.
I used to think that when you were in the Primary, you didn't get too spiritually fed. You were dealing with kids that had a ton of energy, that don't really want to be sitting in chairs singing I am a Child of God yet again. Some are crawling on the floor, others are falling off their chairs, and there is always one or two that you think have borderline behavioral disorders. And it gets exhausting. But like anything involving small children, there are those moments. Those moments where all the frustration, the telling them over and over again to keep their hands to themselves, to stop eating their tie, or not to pull their dress over their head becomes worth it. I cannot tell you how many times playing those songs for them, and listening to them sing their hearts out, and reading the words as I play that my heart just swelled,with tears in my eyes, and I always pray that they don't blur my sight so I can still play. The simple wording of the songs reminds me that yes, I am loved. Yes, He knows me. Yes, coming to church on Sunday is worth all the difficulty getting out the door and getting through sacrament without losing my mind.
I am a little bit sad that I don't get to do it anymore. That now I get to go to Sunday School and Relief Society. Which are great things. But I think I will miss it. Lucky for me, we move a lot. And people always need piano players. I just need to wait until my turn comes around again.
A Man By Any Other Name
3 hours ago