Ode to Nursery

By Karen Austin

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I prefer serving in the nursery to attending the “grown up” classes with my age mates.

When I move to a new ward, I always start by asking the Primary president if she needs help with the nursery classes.

What’s not to like? There are toys, snacks, and a lot of action songs.  And I can roll around on the floor during class, barking like a dog with fewer raised eyebrows than if I do the same in Gospel Doctrine.

And the kids are incredibly cute.

[Photo credit: nendra_gunawan via Creative Commons]

They are full of wonder at the world, like the child Wordsworth describes as seeing “splendour in the grass.”  They are mesmerized by my beaded floral skirt. They tell engaging stories about their boo-boos of the week.  They give me warm hugs.  Even if I can’t quite understand what they are saying, they are entirely earnest.

But I’m also forging bridges from free-for-all play to a more structured environment.

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What He Sees

By Brooke Benton

I love people watching and have convinced myself that I’m a pro: my sunglasses hiding the direction of my gaze or the incognito peering from behind the pages of an uninteresting library find. Inevitably the words hold little sway to the treasures of humanity beyond the pages and the assurance of real, live social graces and interaction and nuance and emotion are just too much to bear, and I watch:

Where he slips his hand across her knee. Where she puts her head upon his shoulder… First date? Old lovers? They are too quiet with one another to be new, and her hair seems askance and he seems calmed by her easy way. They must be married.

Where a mother fusses over a baby hidden in an expensive carriage, and how suddenly a fleck of a hand blooms above the tuft of swaddling blanket and visions of a redhead baby boy bloom in my head, unbidden… Simply because the hand was pale, and his mother was a ginger.

And my mind wanders with them all day, these people/characters filled out by my mind, apparent only in face. They are reduced to their mannerisms and accessories, taken out of context, in five seconds of one day.

It seems unfair. But in my defense I usually give them an imaginative vignette worthy of their most astonishing feature.

(Good or bad.)

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