Tanner always comes over on Sunday’s, sometimes he stays for church and others he just pushes me in the gutter in an effort to smash a poor misunderstood dead leaf and goes to his ward. Today happened to be one of the Sunday’s where he found himself, along with Maddy –The Little Samurai-, watching me scramble to finish getting ready for church. Finally the three of us were off, as to be expected we got a couple looks from the people in my ward, most of which are completely convinced I’m totally antisocial because to be honest I have never had any real connection to any of the youth with one exception, Donavan –The Italian- who is currently getting ready to serve a mission and is now in a different ward anyway, because when our Stake so lovingly decided to split our ward they cut him out of mine.
When the three of us found a place to sit we were mistakenly in the eye of the Bishopric, which will become important later. Maddy leaned over to me and whispered, “I feel like a neon sign at midnight!” she gestured to her shirt that looked so out of place on her. Dark sapphire and glittering with sequins Maddy looked like a lost child in a department store, not that I would ever say that. My dear Little Mumzi sat next us and the Sacrament Service began. It started with some random hymn that none of us had ever heard, Maddy kept laughing at how everyone in the congregation sounded lost, including us.
After the Sacrament Tanner leaned over to us and started playing with the cards in his wallet, Maddy started laughing about the Starbucks card and taking hers to the Temple. We began fighting over all of the picture ID’s because of how much Tanner’s work ID looks like a different person. I looked up as Tanner was holding my hands to contain them from getting to his drivers license just to see the entire Bishopric staring straight at us, laughing I pointed this out to Tanner; who quickly let go of my hands and enthusiastically waved! In horror I grabbed his hand and began holding it to stop him from embarrassing me in front of my new Bishopric.
A few nerve-wracking minutes later after continuing to contain Tanner and trying my hardest to laugh at Maddy’s discomfort caused be the ridiculous shirt. We looked over to see Little Mumzi playing with erasers! Green and yellow snakes, red, blue, yellow, and green turtles, Mumzi sat role-playing with each of the erasers. Of course Tanner and I did the only thing that could be done, we gave each of our friends an eraser character! Paige became the green turtle, Maddy the red turtle, Tanner the blue turtle, I became the yellow turtle, Alex –The Scottish Ninja- the yellow snake, and Ryan the green snake. Suddenly to our surprise Paige was replaced by a green snail!
Fear shrouded each of us as we wondered who would be replaced next; suddenly Maddy was gone, only to be reinstated by a red snail. “NO” the Little Samurai’s pain permeated the quiet meeting hall, disgust radiated from the omnipresent Bishopric. But the horror wasn’t to an end, Maddy’s face contorted as she pointed down to Little Mumzi. A scene that should’ve never been beheld met my eyes followed by Tanner’s. “Um who is kissing?” Tanner stated concern coating every syllable. Little Mumzi was making the snakes kiss!
“Tanner,” a laugh dripping in my voice, “the snakes are Ryan and Alex.” The outbreak of muffled laughter that couldn’t be contained erupted and refused to desist for at least the next 15 minutes, every time we looked back at our misshapen eraser family Alex and Ryan hadn’t finished kissing! The Bishopric continued to stare as we cried tears of blatant shock and irony. Containing ourselves in that moment became harder than ever as we felt their eyes glued to our crippled forms.
A note was suddenly shoved under my tear stained red face asking us to teach Little Mumzi’s primary class, she was feeling a tad under the weather. I wrote back saying that my stray friends and I would be overjoyed to tackle a couple eight-year-olds for the afternoon.
We scuttled our way to room 113, which was much more like a broom closet than a classroom, glad to be out of the gaze of the Bishopric. We started teaching our lesson as any good teacher team of three teenagers who had just been oh so reverent in Sacrament Meeting would, “Now everyone be reverent like you should be in Sacrament Meeting.” Maddy and Tanner snorted as I struggled to keep a straight face, the image of the kissing Ryan and Alex was at the forefront of my mind. Suddenly a little boy in the class punched Tanner, but disregarding this minor issue I proceeded to teach the lesson. As the lesson progressed Tanner continued to be abused by the small boy, finally Tanner got up and left.
Maddy and I pulled out the erasers just then and told them that if they were reverent and stopped hitting Tanner they would get one. “Tanner is a VERY sensitive person and is probably out there crying right now.” Maddy said to the class at large.
The little abusive boy’s eyes grew huge, “should I go make sure that he isn’t out in the hall crying” Maddy nodded smiling. The little boy scampered out of the room and returned with the news that Tanner was indeed not in the hall crying and he couldn’t find him.
A few minutes later, Tanner wandered back to our humble broom closet. The abusive boy stared up at him and in a small voice inquired, “Were you crying out there?”
Confusion glared off of Tanner as he looked at Maddy and I, “what have you been telling them?”
“You’re a very sensitive person, and they need to stop hitting you.” Tanner’s face went red with contained laughter as tears began flooding his eyes; he buried his face in the sleeve of his jacket.
The little boy patted him saying, “I didn’t even touch him that time and he is still crying!” At this Tanner cried harder.
Finally we got to the point in the lesson where the erasers became important, we pulled out a board game at the back of the teachers manual that Little Mumzi lovingly book marked ‘’game’’, each child laid their erasers down and began to play, the object of the game was to do righteous things so you could find your way to the Celestial Kingdom. There were some spaces that you had to go back on for not doing Christ Like actions. During the intense fighting of each child trying their absolute hardest to go the Celestial Kingdom first Tanner slipped in that he hated me, right as he said it one kid chimed in, “we don’t say the ‘hate’ word!”
“That’s right Tanner,” Maddy scolded, “go back two spaces!” Tanners face fell and he began crying again from laughter, however none of the kids could see that he was laughing, they could only see he was crying. As the game progressed we found ourselves bugging Tanner about Ryan for one reason or another.
At this one child asked, “who is Ryan?”
“Now Tanner, don’t cry.” I said carefully, “Ryan is his imaginary friend who never loved him!” At this Tanner started ‘’crying’’ again! Lucky for us this concluded class and we headed into the primary room. While we were waiting for primary to start the primary president scampered up to me and handed me a plastic bag that contained two Hershey’s treasures and a note. On the back of the note I wrote, “Sorry there were only two pieces of candy, please don’t cry <3/ Katie and Maddy.” And handed it to Tanner.
Moments Like These.