Nowadays no one runs to assist a policeman twirling his rattle to summon help. Bells no longer signal that it’s time to dump garbage into the streets for the muck men to clean up with their shovels and rakes. And the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, no longer echo with the town crier’s bell announcing the reading of a proclamation.
But Edinburgh is still an enchanting city, and Katie Irving, 9, loves to get up in the morning and open the bedroom curtains to let the beautiful, clear Edinburgh sunlight into her room.
Katie’s very graceful at ballet and gymnastics and wants to learn to ride horses. She enjoys all her primary (grade) six classes at Clermiston School, especially crafts. Her school gives each pupil a prize during the year for whatever that student does best. Katie got a prize for doing the best handwork in her class.
Even though she likes school, Katie looks forward to summer holidays when she can go to the parks with her family or play hide-and-seek and tag out in the garden with her friends Ailsa and Jennie. She likes to swim with her family and have her dad, James, take her around the pool on his back, but it seems to Katie that, “when we’re finally all home, someone has a stitch in his foot or his arm or something, so that we can’t go swimming.”
Although Katie and her brothers sometimes have rows, they love each other. “If you want to play a game and no one else will play with you, John (12) will,” Katie said. “And once John stood up for me when a bully was bothering me.” Iain, 7, likes to be with Katie. “He wakes up really early,” Katie said, “and he’ll sneak into my room and wake me so that we’re the first ones up. Sometimes when he has a bad dream he’ll say to Mum, ‘I want to sleep in Katie’s room,’ and she’ll let him. My other brother, Robin (11), is good at giving you a hard time, but he’s fun and makes funny voices and pulls funny faces.
“Every night we each give Dad a subject, and he makes up a big story using all the subjects. Sometimes the stories are really funny because of all the subjects,” said Katie. “And Mum, well, she makes good chocolate cake with marshmallows. It’s lovely.” Katie feels all warm and nice when her mum, Patricia, “squeezes me really tight.”
Katie cares about people who are sad or lonely and about animals that are mistreated. She always remembers to pray for those who need help and for anyone in the family who is away from home. “She’s very softhearted, and our place would not be the same without her,” said her mum.
Katie is very helpful around the house. When her mum is busy, Katie often asks, “What can I do to help?” She likes to help by ironing, dusting, and hoovering (vacuuming). She also likes to go out shopping and to deliver messages with her mum or dad.
When her dad was on the stake high council, he used to take Katie along on his Sunday speaking assignments, and she would speak in the wards and branches that he visited. “I would talk on the subject the stake president gave us to talk about. I talked about the Book of Mormon and about Alma the Younger. And once I had to talk about being baptized into the Church. When I got baptized, it was fun. I arranged the program.” Katie smiled. “And I want to tell all of the children how nice it felt. It felt lovely.”