Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Earliest

The earliest memory I have is at church. I was in a small room with a few other children my age and a couple of young grown ups who were pretty/handsome and smelled good. I remember the woman talking to us in a high voice, like we were babies, telling us to color pictures. I picked up a paper and crayons and with no particular idea in mind, I scribbled on the paper.

The woman came over to me after a while and crouched down next to me and asked, in that bothersome baby voice, what I was drawing. I told her, hesitantly, that I was only scribbling. She told me it was beautiful and I remember thinking she was an idiot. (I know, kinda jaded for 3.)

Eventually, we children we gathered together and told there was exciting news. We would be going somewhere today and it would really fun. I became excited and nervous as this young couple marched us down a hallway and into a big room full of children.

We had to stand around a bit while they set up a row of chairs at the very front and I remember feeling self-conscious as all the big kids stared at us while we waited for seats. Once we were seated a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice began a music time. I was in heaven. The music was lovely, and I wanted desperately to sing along, but I'd never heard the songs before. So I sat and listened, in paradoxical joy and distress.

My mom joined the LDS church right around her 18th birthday. Since she didn't grow up in the church, she didn't know any of the Primary songs for children. We were raised on camp songs from Camp Hantasa. I could see Wohelo and the Donkey with the Mournful Eye with the best of them, but I'd never heard "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" or "I Am a Child of God."

So I sat, aching and determined to learn these beautiful songs so that soon, I too could sing along.

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