My wife and I have been in Primary teaching the Sunbeams (ages 3 and 4) for several months now. Recently, the teachers of the other Sunbeam class were called to teach another class in the Primary, so their Sunbeam class was combined with our Sunbeam class. Where we used to only have three or four children each week, we now have an average of eight (but as many as ten or twelve).
I love teaching the Sunbeams. They're cute. They're funny. They're delightful(ly exhausting).
And boy, do they make for excellent birth control.
Imagine having a class of children not yet old enough for Kindergarten jumping around, all talking at once, and, occasionally, throwing things and knocking down chairs. So fun, right? Now double that number of children.
And it's fun--but mostly it's horrifying. It really makes me consider: do I really want kids right away? Is this what my peace will turn into every day?
For all the talk from the Brethren about the importance of having children, it's almost as if they call young, newlywed couples like us to teach the Sunbeams in order to deter us from doing our utmost to propagate the species.
"Oh, you're thinking about having children right away? We'd like to call you to teach the Sunbeams--there are enough newborns in this ward."
Sometimes, though, teaching the Sunbeams makes me baby-hungry. I mean, my wife. Makes my wife baby-hungry.
Like this morning--it's Monday, I'd just gotten up and was checking my email, and my wife was still asleep--there was an unexpected knock at the door, followed immediately by the doorbell.
Startled (and completely unprepared for such an event at 10 am), I rushed to my room and clothed myself, asking my sleep-eyed wife if she was expecting anyone, to which she replied, groggily, no. After a minute or so of scrambling, I finally opened the door to see one of our Sunbeams, Emmie, and her dad, smiling back at me. Emmie handed me a plate of cupcakes (they were delicious, by the way, and constitute the entirety of my breakfast as of this writing) and her dad coaxed her, "What were you going to tell him?"
"Sank you," she said, smiling and dancing around, then pulling on her dad's hand as if eager to leave.
"For being her teacher," her dad added, smiling.
My inclination, as I said, is for teaching Sunbeams to be a child-bearing deterrent; but this is one of those sweet moments where I realize how much joy my own children will bring to my life.
Whenever it is that the Lord sees fit to bless me with them.
And, anyway, a dozen or so screaming toddlers isn't something I can realistically expect immediately--after all, my wife isn't Octomom.