When we first thought about having children, one of the things my wife and i prayed for them was the gift of musical talent. I have always loved music and became enamored with the music of the Eighties when I listened to Rick Dees do the Top 40 countdown every Sunday night. My wife has the better voice and sang at weddings up until the time we began to date. Her family would sing at churches and her mother has sung hundreds of times at churches all around our region, so this was not a trivial prayer.
When my son was born I immediately introduced him to the music I loved, which was Eighties music as well as country. I can remember vividly once when i was changing his daiper and singing along to John Michael Montgomery’s song called the Grundy County Auction. If you are familiar with the song you know it has a whole lot of words sung in a very short space. Apparently the facial expressions I made so rapidly scare my son because he stared at me for a few seconds, and then puckered up and let out a wail. Yeah, that’s it my facial expressions. It couldn’t have been my singing, right?
So now we are several years past the prayers for the musical talent and the answer is so impressive. My son and daughter both sing in their high school choir as well as playing instruments in the high school band. When my son marched on the football field at the University of Virginia at Wise campus last october for his final performance, we were capping off five years of crisscrossing our region watching he and his fellow band members give their best. This was the second year both of our children were in the and together, which made it all the more exciting for me.
I will admit that I got emotional when the band took the field that day. At least for their first performance. You see it was a unique competition where the top three bands in the preliminary round returned to “play off” for the mantle of “Band of the Day”. As alway, watching the band come on to the field sent chills down my spine. I love every minute of it, no matter the weather, because it involves my kids. Listening to them use their talents is something I don’t think will ever get old. Over my son;s career I learned to pick out his instrument and I could always hear his part. I think it will sound so different this fall when he is not on the field.
Since my son was a senior this year, he got the chance to sing the traditional senior song, “River in Judea”. Usually the senior girls will sing a part and then the senior boys. My son was the sole senior boy, so this actually turned into a solo. Once again ol’ dad let go with the waterworks. If you watch the video closely you will see the camera is not too steady. As soon as he sang the first word I lost it.
My kids sing a lot at church. In fact, the whole family is in the choir. Many Sundays my son and I are the bulk of the bass section. I so enjoy singing next to him, hearing his strong voice. There is just something about sharing that time with him that I just love.
On the recent band trip my children were excited about the chance to sing karaoke. Unfortunately most times in order to sing karaoke you have to go to a bar and that is just not part of our usual travel circles. But on the Carnival Sensation there was a chance to sing karaoke several times. As it turned out, due to the myriad activities their opportunities were limited to the afternoon following their group performance. My son loves Contemporary Christian and Country music as does my daughter. Most of the songs I saw in the binders to select were Pop and Country, so they sang some Country songs they enjoy.
While they both had piano lessons, my daughter has stayed with it longer. There are so many songs she plays that I just love to hear. I beg her to play for me so I can enjoy her talent. Of course I usually can hear her singing voice almost any night or any time we travel because she always has either her trust iPod on hand or asks for her favorite radio station.
My son’s newest skill is playing guitar with his singing. He actually wrote a song about ayear ago, but usually just picks up the chords of some song he hears and gives us a min-concert. We encourage him to develop this talent so he can take his guitar to places he travels and share the gift. He and I are planning for a trip to Belize with our mission group and I told him he should take the guitar so we can use it for worship times. I know a particular place we will go there are children who would enjoy the chance to sing with us.