I wanted to share a sweet story about Preston so that I would always remember it. That photo has nothing to do with the story, by the way, but I took it of him during his nap today. I thought it perfectly represented what we see in him when all of his worries are put aside and he sleeps like a little angel.
This past weekend we had our stake conference. As we are now in the same stake as my parents, we all get to enjoy Grandpa (a.k.a. the Stake President) give talks and do a lot of things that we don't normally get to see him do as normal day to day "Grandpa". I was also recently called as the Stake Choir Accompanist (gee I wonder who suggested me for that calling?), as my mom is the Stake Music Chairman and Choir Conductor.
During Sunday's meeting, we (Will, Preston, Taylor, and I) occupied the very front left-hand row so that I could be close enough to the stand to get up and down to play the piano. The little boys were starting to get a bit restless, as we were now going on 2 days of church and the 2nd hour of this particular meeting and right during naptime to boot.
It was my turn to get up and perform again, and noticed that Will was out in the hallway with Taylor and I couldn't just leave Preston by himself sitting on the bench (both of my parents were on the stand). I didn't know the family behind us either, so didn't want to ask them at the last minute to help. Will ended up stepping in right as I was about to get up, but I could tell Taylor was not ready to be back inside the chapel yet. He was super fussy and on the verge of a total meltdown.
So I took Preston's hand and brought him up on the stand with me while the choir performed - figuring that Will would need to step out into the hall again with Taylor. It was a total spontaneous decision and I wasn't even sure what I was going to do with him. I couldn't let him sit at the piano with me because I had a page turner occupying the other half of my piano bench with me. So I had him sit on the bottom row (step), which was about 4 feet behind me.
As the choir all stood up to sing, Preston noticed that everyone around him all of a sudden stood up. So he stood up too. Then he decided that he wanted to be a part of whatever was going on, and so he ever so intently pushed one of the sopranos over so that he could climb up onto the step next to where she was standing.
Then everyone started to sing. He stood there looking at Grandma (who was conducting the choir), and then proceeded to mimick her conducting skills. He had both of his hands waving in the air as if he was conducting the choir - which I've had him do many times with me while sitting in my lap during church while sitting in the congregation singing hymns.
I had no idea what was going on, because I was facing the opposite direction and playing the piano. I wanted to turn around so bad to check on him, but knew I needed to focus on playing the right notes so I couldn't turn to look. My only hope was just that he wasn't wandering around the stand, or crying because he realized hundreds of people were staring at him. Little did I know that he was doing a fantastic job of participating in the stake choir as well as entertaining the audience.
Next, a minute into the song, Preston all of a sudden realized that everyone else had choir folders and he didn't. So he had the brilliant idea (Will said you could see his mind thinking of what to do while standing up there), of walking back down to the bench and grabbing a hymn book and then returning to finish the rest of the song with the choir. Only, when he came back to the pew, Will grabbed him and kept him there instead of allowing him to go back up to the stand. Will was worried that he was causing too much of a scene and being a distraction. However, as Will told Preston he couldn't go back up there, Preston started to cry these humungous tears of sadness.
That is when the song ended and I came down off the stand and saw Preston standing there waiting for me with these big tears running down his cheeks. All I heard him say was that he wanted to go back up next to Grandma. My dad was the next speaker and he was already up at the podium starting his talk and so I didn't want Preston going up there right in the middle of his talk, so I had him sit on my lap for the rest of the time...which about 10 minutes later he was totally zonked out and snoozing away.
After the meeting was over, I had a few people come up to me afterwards and tell me how adorable Preston was. At that point, I still didn't have any idea what had happened while I was up there playing the piano. I didn't know about Preston standing up with the choir to sing, pushing the soprano over, conducting the choir, and then trying to get his hymnbook and crying because he couldn't go back up to sing.
It was so sweet. I love my little boy and his excitement about music, participating and wanting to be a "big boy" and do big things.