After 3 years in the primary presidency, I was released a few weeks ago. I joked a lot over the years about being released. Almost every meeting had some sort of comment from me about it.
"Heather, can you buy more picture frames for the upcoming Faith in God awards?"
"Don't you think we'll be released by then?"
"Does anyone else want to write the Primary program this year?"
"I guess I could since we won't be in the Primary when the program rolls around."
But when it came down to it and I knew it was over, I started to wonder if I was ready. I thought about all of the things I would be missing. Did I enjoy my last sharing time as much as I should have? It was the perfect sharing time to end on -- it was on the atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt such an appreciation and love for my Savior as I gave that lesson and could barely speak as I bore my testimony of Him. There are so many things I will miss about that calling.
I was excited but also nervous when the Bishop asked me 3 years ago. Griffin was only 8 months old and I found out I was pregnant with Mia one month later. I felt so overwhelmed that first year. Feeling unable to add one more thing to my already busy plate but somehow I made it and after that first year it seemed to just get easier and easier. It was the perfect calling for me at this time in my life. I was able to be in there with all six of my children. I watched Jack graduate from Primary, Griffin become a Sunbeam and Mia start nursery. They got to hear me teach and bear testimony of my Savior every month. And I got to watch them as they participated, read scriptures, gave talks, sang songs, answered questions, played the piano, passed off Articles of Faith, etc.
I was able to witness firsthand the amazing teachers my children had. Teachers who taught my boys the importance of respecting the scriptures, wearing a white shirt and tie to church in preparation of becoming a Deacon, the importance of the priesthood; Teachers who worked hard at helping each child learn all of the Articles of Faith; Teachers who loved their class like their own children and requested to be their teacher for 2 years in a row; Teachers willing to work with Morgan. It's amazing to think of the progress Morgan made in those 3 years. She wouldn't sit with her class, she wandered around the room, trying to sit by Hadley, Jack or Ryan and hugging everyone or shaking their hand on her way. Her teachers genuinely loved her, helped her answer questions, allowed her to sit on their laps and gave her the patience that was required and even though her behavior is far from perfect, she's come a long way! I hope all of those teachers know how grateful I am for each one of them and the positive impact they each had on my children's life.
I'm also going to really miss working with this fun group of girls! And I can call them girls because I was the oldie in the group. Our meetings usually lasted about 3 hours and there was never a dull moment, full of laughter and fun, and serious stuff too, of course. Jessica taught me the importance of being a diligent servant, wrote amazing primary programs for Sacrament Meeting and is seriously a rock. Jennifer taught me how to be organized and get things done and became a close friend and nanny. Andrea had an amazing testimony of missionary work and was never scared to open her mouth and share the gospel. And she got us all the latest text updates on the David/David AI Finale. Lindsay seemed to do it all, no matter what was asked, she was always willing to do it and never complained. Racie was the ultimate party planner. No one could ever top one of Racie's primary activities. Don't even try! And even thought Kerrah was a newbie to the presidency, she jumped right in and went out of her way to get to know all of us and the children.
Racie, Kerrah, Jessica, Andrea, Jennifer, me, Lindsay at our last meeting (dinner).
And we didn't all decide to just wear green -- this was on St. Patrick's Day
I didn't tell my kids I was getting released. They heard about it for the first time when the Bishop announced it. Ryan kept asking me over and over if that meant I wasn't in Primary anymore. I'm not sure but I think he was a little sad. I asked him if he was happy or sad and he said, "a little bit of both." But then he said the cutest thing,
"So you're just like a random citizen in the ward now?"
We call that a member of the church, but yes, as of right now, I am just a random citizen in the church and I'm going to enjoy it while I can.