We've been going to The Vine Street Church in Nashville lately and they have a wonderfully active kids' choir program.
Which one of my kids do you think bonded with the choir director right away? And then agreed to be part of the Christmas play, even though we got to the church just two weeks before the performance whereas the other kids had been rehearsing for weeks? And willingly stood in front of the audience tonight, singing loudly and proudly? With lots of adorable head bobbing?
No, not this one.
It was this one.
Audrey was in the audience and Grant was on stage as a shepherd. At first he told me he had been cast as a cowboy, and then no, maybe it was German shepherd. We finally figured it out. (His English has improved by leaps and bounds but some words still throw him for a loop.)
When he knew the words he sang them clearly. When he didn't know them he faked it so well, only his mother would know the difference.
You guys know me, I was in the audience crying, of course. Partly because my boy was such a charming little shepherd. He is exactly the type of boy, curious and brave, who would have followed a star to see the Baby Jesus on that night 2011 years ago.
There's also a good chance that on the way to see the Messiah he would have left his sheep on a hillside somewhere and the next morning we would have spent hours wandering in the wet grass trying to round them back up again, with Grant in the background reminding us again and again that it was AN ACCIDENT, AN ACCIDENT! Oh dear, these 8-year-old boys and their accidents. It is almost more than a mother can bear sometimes.
So back to me crying.
It was partly because he was such a convincing and sweet little shepherd. And partly because I could not BELIEVE how well he learned those songs in just two short weeks. This is a kid who could hardly say a complete sentence in English five months ago when we arrived here from Beijing. And here he was singing so clearly, "Will you be ready for the light, ready for the light to shine upon you?"
And partly because he had dared to do this thing. Even the dramatic and daring Audrey had shied away from this performance. But there was Grant, standing on the "boomer" (riser) singing and I was in the audience crying. I put my hand on my cheek, hoping it would look like I was lost in thought or admiration and not simply bawling. I faked it pretty well, I think. At least, well enough that only my son could tell the difference.
I am ready, Grant. I'm ready for the light to shine upon me.
And I would have eventually forgiven you for losing half our sheep.
Why is this blog called "The Downtown Diner"? If blogs were restaurants, mine would be a downtown diner. The food isn't haute cuisine and it's not even necessarily all that nutritious. Basically I'm the grilled cheese sandwich of blogosphere. But the waitress here knows your name and she's always glad to see you. Stop by whenever you're in the neighborhood and need a smile.