Yesterday at church Noah was asked to give a talk in Primary. For those of you not familiar with the term Primary, in the Mormon faith it is basically just another name for our children's Sunday School program. Now my dear son has given several talks in Primary to date, but all have been done with mama's help standing next to him for moral support. In the past, He and I would always stand at the podium together and I would hold the microphone for him and whisper in his ear the words and he would very tenderly (and nervously) repeat them into the microphone.
But yesterday was a completely different experience for our little fella and I wanted to record it here so we have this special experience to look back on and remember fondly.
Our preparation for his talk began began Saturday. I sat down with him and we talked about the assigned topic he had been given...he was to speak for 1-2 minutes on the Atonement. We discussed what the Atonement means and why it is so important to all of us. Noah was so excited to talk about Jesus (which he always is...) and to explain to me what he understood about this amazing sacrifice the Savior made for all of us. We then began to jot down some ideas that he could say for his talk on Sunday. I then went over to the computer and typed it up for him. And to my surprise, when I sat back down with him to practice reading the actual talk...he said he wanted to try and read it all by himself. Now to give a little background here of why this was so surprising and wonderful--he has struggled for some time with his reading at school and at home. He is very insecure about it and shuts down most of the time when his teacher tries to help him or Daddy and I help him at home. We have been working so hard this past school year (at home and school) and with tutors to help him improve. So I expected him (like all his other church talks) to want me to help him through this one as well. But that wasn't the case this time--as we sat down to review his talk-- he proceeded to read through all three paragraphs pretty much by himself--I had to help him with a few words like "commandments" and "Savior"--but I was so amazed to hear him working hard to sound each and every word out all by himself and taking such pride in reading his talk by himself. I had to fight back the tears as he read the words fluently. In fact, I got so excited after he read it independently the second time--I grabbed his little hand and ran with him into the other room where Jody was and had him read out loud for Daddy. As I expected--Daddy started bawling as he listened to our little fella read his entire talk all by himself.
A huge milestone for our son...H-U-G-E.
We practiced for a bit longer and then he finally tossed the paper in my lap, jumped off the bed and said, "I've got this Mom...you don't need to worry. I can read it all by myself tomorrow." And he then ran out of my bedroom to go play in his room until it was time for bed.
I just sat on the bed feeling such happiness...it was so refreshing to practice his reading without him getting upset and/or angry.
And when Sunday morning rolled around and it was his turn in Primary to walk up to the microphone and share his talk in front of all the other children, he confidently walked up to the podium and stood next to me. I whispered in his ear and asked if he wanted my help and he said, "No...I'm fine." And then he proceeded to read the entire talk --word for word--without any mistakes ALL BY HIMSELF. He had the sweetest and most precious smile on his face when he closed his talk with the words "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
And then he looked up at me just beaming and asked, "Did I do great?" I hugged him ever so tight and said, "Yes, baby...you did wonderful!!"
I'm so thankful for tender mercies and experiences like this as a mother. I know how nervous he had to be given the struggles he has faced with trying to learn to read the past 2 years and I felt so strongly in my heart that the Lord was blessing him this day for all his hard work. Such a confidence builder for him to stand in front of his peers and read this talk all by himself.
Here's what he read....
A proud mama moment, indeed...one that I will always and forever cherish.
Love you Noah Riley...you are one special little fella. I'm so thankful for your sweet and tender spirit and for the strong love you have for Jesus. This will carry you far in life my son if you stay close to him and keep the commandments. Your life will be better for it and you will be much happier by following His great example. We love you so, so much my dear son.