Spencer's Spring Concert

Preschool Choir via "Katilyn's Mom" on YouTube

I took Spencer to preschool choir four Wednesdays ago.  He's a year too young for it, but his friend Hayden is his age and has been going to choir all year since his mom is the preschool director.  At Christmas Hayden performed seamlessly as a little sheep.  It was tear-your-heart-out adorable.  Spencer now considers Hayden a friend and always runs up to him asking, "Hayden, what is that noise!"  Implying that noise is Hayden.  Isn't that guy-friend-ish?  Anyway, the days are getting longer, it's broad daylight now when it's time to go to choir, and Evie is older and not constantly needing to be fed or changed or put down for a nap.  Life is evolving to the next stage.  The preschool choir stage.  Ha!

The first time I took Spencer, he was exhausted and was throwing a fit before we even got into the building.  So, that trip didn't last long; although it did last longer than it should have.  But, Spencer truly loves music (I like to think he gets that from me), and he loves to sing; and he's been having more fun with his friends at church in general, so I tried again.  Night-time church activities are a tough call in my opinion.  I'm a strongly opposed to over-scheduling children (I just deleted two paragraphs I typed on this subject because this is supposed to be about Spencer), and evening times are tired times with little ones, and my little ones don't do great when they're out and about while tired; BUT Spencer is getting older, and should, theoretically be able to hold it together later into the evening, assuming that in general he is adequately rested, etc.  So, like I said, we tried again the next week.  And I'm so glad we did.

He loved it.  He asked to go again and again.  He didn't want to go home.  So, I was pumped.  This has been his first church experience that he has really loved.  When it dawned on me that it was the "end of the year" for Wednesday night choir for kids, I was so sad for him.  He's loving it.  And then, I realized that his group would be singing in church one Sunday morning in April, and I just laughed out loud thinking of all of the possible scenarios that putting Spencer in the font of the church brings to mind.

With Spencer, I've learned to expect the unexpected; but I still never expect the correct unexpected thing.

When I told him this morning what was going to go down, he was interested, but decided that he needed to stay home.  Then, he wanted to take an animal.  He likes to bring an animal when we go out.  He wanted to take his giant four foot long dog (Thanks again for that, Gigi).  I told him it was too big, and he needed to pick a little dog.  He argued that he wanted to take his Moose.  "It's little," he insisted.  I told him it was too big, and he needed to pick a little dog.  He brought out a two foot long stuffed doberman (Thanks for that too, Gigi!), and although his grin was so sweet and so proud, I again insisted that it was still too big to take to church.  I told him we needed to find something that would fit in his hand.  He protested a bit (and by this, for once, I don't mean that he screamed), but I told him I would help him.  For some reason that made it better.  In general, he still solicits and enjoys my help.  I found a small, Little People seal.  Cute, aquatic, I knew he'd take the bait.  And, he did.  He dug out a wooden bowl from the kitchen for it's cage.  I told him the bowl could not come into church.  He silently agreed.

We managed to get all of ourselves into the car.  Whew.  Halfway there, I prepped him a little more on what was going to happen when we got there.  We were going to take Evie to her class, then, we were going to go to Big Church.  We would see grandparents, etc.  When it was his turn, he would go to the front of the church on the steps and sing some songs.  "Miss Donna" would help them.  He told me "we can't go to church!  There's too many people and too many kids."  I assured him it'd be manageable.

We talked about it a little more, and he seemed to be getting excited about it.  Then he told me I couldn't go to church with him.  I had to go home.  I asked him if he was worried about it, and he seemed to say that he was a little bit worried about it.  I went through the sequence of events again and the people who would be involved, and he seemed fine with all of that--but he wanted me to go home.  I explained that I couldn't go home if he was at church.  I had to be there.  He wasn't happy about that.  I finally told him that I had to stay there at church with him, but if he wanted, I would not watch him sing.  I would only watch Kaitlyn and Lila.  THAT was the ticket.

He helped me drop off Evie, who, by the way, is not feeling good and screamed when we left--break my heart.  He was calm but excited.  Once church started, he was so ready to go to the front.  A few times, he would have gone if I hadn't told him it wasn't his turn yet.  At one point, during a quiet part of the welcome, he asked (loudly), "When is it my turn?"  I told him it was getting closer, and I asked him if he was excited, to which he enthusiastically and adorably replied, "Yeah!"

When the blessed minute finally arrived, he, sure enough, walked up there.  I helped him get to where he needed to be, but he was not scared.  He didn't mind standing on the step with the other kids.  He stood just as he was supposed to.  He was still.  He had his arms at his side.  He looked around, but also watched "Miss Donna."  He sang his songs off and on, which was precious.  I knew for sure that he knew one of the songs well because he'd been singing it at home, but I didn't know if he would know the songs well enough since he'd only gone to choir three times.  He seemed to know them just fine.  He was a bit shy; but he did as well as most elementary kids to "on stage."  It was precious.  It was priceless.  And, luckily, I'd harassed his dad enough the day before that we managed to get one electronic recording device in workable shape so that we have it digitally recorded for posterity.

After the second song, he thought he was supposed to leave the stage but was quickly and easily corrected.  In between songs, he said, "We have to practice 'The Farmer In the Dell' for the concert."  A line inspired by an episode of Max and Ruby.  He did hold his Little People seal the whole time.  He patted it on his leg to the beat of the songs.  It was a little surreal to see him up there doing what he was supposed to be doing.  Surreal and refreshing.  Not that he's a bad kid.  He's really not.  But it was sort of a long shot anyway; and I was totally prepared for it not to work out at all.  In fact, I was expecting it.  I can never figure out which unexpected thing to expect!

Wednesday, after his last choir "practice" his teacher advised me to ask the (incredible) violinist at our church how young she takes kids for violin lessons.  She had noticed his sense of rhythm and thinks it'd be great for him.  She reminded me that when a child plays the violin, the parent learns along with them.  I'm not sure I'm ready for violin lessons.  But I'm sure Spencer is...

P.S.  To whom it may concern, Jonathan will make dvd's of this, Spencer's debut performance, available within approximately a week's time.

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