This year, our church opened up the Christmas Eve services to anyone who wanted to join and help lead the service. Since I am so involved with our music department, I decided to take Sloan and have him stand up front with me. Much to his dismay, I might add.
My sweet six year old will walk up to anyone in the world and strike up a conversation. He entertains us tirelessly at home and he’s got the sweetest singing voice – but when he gets in front of a group of people that he perceives to be “staring” at him, he clams up completely and turns into someone I don’t know. So he was not thrilled when I told him he was going to stand up front and sing in big Church.
Once I assured him that he would not have to sing alone into the microphone, though, he was much relieved, though still not thrilled.
Who’s kid is he anyway?!
So, we headed to practice last Wednesday night. Because there were a lot of people to organize and several songs to go through, the rehearsal was longer than I had expected it to be. This led the six year old to behave like a, well…six year old.
There was the wallowing on the floor, and the third time I dragged him gently lifted him to his feet, I told him that he was going to make it and he needed to stand up, to which he replied, “This is the awfullest day of my whole life! Why did you make me do this?”
And somewhere, a group of crickets began singing a mournful tune. (eyeroll)
Then there was the issue of him having been placed directly in front of the microphone, which, despite his phobia of singing into one proved to be far too great a temptation for his six year old self. He commenced making gun sounds into the microphone, which required him to jump up and down so that his mouth was closer to the mic as it was set up fairly high. On occasion, he jumped up and barked out “Hello!” then grinned from ear to ear when he landed back on the floor.
And finally, the icing on the cake…
Many of the songs were very traditional Christmas carols, which I am ashamed to say he doesn’t know. He can sing Frosty the Snowman, but O Little Town of Bethlehem is an unknown tune. That will change next year. So while we rehearsed and practiced the songs, he really had to just stand there because he didn’t know the words and he can’t read well enough to follow the screens. This resulted in him repeatedly ramming his head backward into my gut, leaving me with bruises.
And I began to seriously question my bringing him along.
Then I heard him singing softly in his sweet little tenor. So I leaned forward to give him encouragement. And this is what I heard…
“Dradle, Dradle, Dradle, I made it out of clay…”
That made me laugh. Only my kid would think to start singing the Dradle song while at church rehearsing for the Christmas Eve service. So I did what any self respecting parent would do. I leaned down and taught him how to mouth the word Watermelon to the beat of the song. He thought this was all the hilarious and embraced it whole heartily.
I am pleased to report that during the actual service he did very well. He sang when he knew the words. He didn’t once make a gun noise into the mic, he stayed on his feet and he mouthed Watermelon with pride. The only hiccup came during a particularly powerful moment in the service when Lee, who was sitting about four rows in front of us, raised his hands in praise as he sang. This caused Sloan a great deal of consternation and he began motioning vigorously to his dad to put his hands down, the whole time stage whispering, “Dad. No! Dad! Get your hands down now, Dad! NOW DAD!”
Despite it being the “awfullest” night of his whole life, he did very well and even admitted at the end that he had fun.
Score one for Mommy.