There was a moment of stunned silence in the chapel this morning after Simon gave his part. And then someone said, “Oh, wow!” And then came the laughter from everyone else. And it was about then that both Micah and I kind of lost it. Laughter and tears mixed together. Not really knowing what was up.
Laughter because it was so cute and funny. He was so confident, spoke so clearly, had his part memorized, and delivered it with expression and sincerity that many adults have a hard time matching. Tears because we were so proud of him and Oliver and somewhat embarrassed to be so ridiculously blessed with what were clearly the handsomest, most intelligent, best behaved children in all of Brooklyn. And tears also, because of the spirit testifying to us that we are, indeed, ridiculously blessed to have these little punks teaching us how to be parents.
We probably would have been fine if that had been Simon’s only part, or if Oliver had given only one part as well. But they each had two parts, so we had a lot of time building up to that moment of emotional turmoil. Oliver first told us all that his favorite creation on earth was . . . a cat. We don’t know where this came from. We don’t have a cat and neither do any of his friends. He has had very little exposure to cats. But he was firm in his opinion and, when asked why, responded, “Well, one of the reasons is that they say ‘meow!'” And who can argue with that?
Both the boys told us about how they would act if they Savior was always standing near. Oliver would “say nice things and smile.” He would also read scriptures to keep the commandments because he really likes keeping the commandments. And Simon would pray and try to keep the golden rule, which, in case you didn’t know, is “Do unto others as you would have others do to you.” So yes, we were already beaming with pride when Simon got up and said, “I wish we could all see the Savior near us, especially when we are having hard day. Sometimes heaven feels so far away and I feel very alone. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pick up the phone and talk with our Heavenly Father? Actually, we know that we don’t need a phone to communicate with Him. He is always listening to our prayers and promises to bless us and comfort us. In D&C 19:38 it says . . . .” (And then another boy read the scripture. At least, I assume that is what happened. I was trying to recover my emotional stability and missed a few things in the interim.)
It was pretty great. But that isn’t all, because on Saturday night I got an e-mail from a friend letting us know that the letter Simon wrote to the Friend magazine had been published! We hadn’t seen it yet, but we were so excited. I tried to wake Simon up to show him, but he was much too tired. When he did see it, however, he was pretty happy. I hope that this encourages him to continue to get involved and to speak up and to be a part of things. I feel so lucky to know these little people. Even if they do leave me speechless and crying sometimes.