Thursday, December 6, 2007

About when angels sing

They just don't care, you know--the little kids don't care about all the social rules that govern us who have grown tall.

They stand on the steps at the front of the sanctuary for their first Christmas program, and they crane their necks looking for their parents and everybody there just to see them. Then they spot their group, their little faces light up, they jump for joy, and they wave madly. And if you look at the audience, you'll see a group responding similarly--suddenly, the grownups don't care who's watching them, either.

And if it's a major accomplishment on the teachers' part to get a group of forty little kids to stay in place for half an hour (and not run with their usual abandon around the place), it's really too much to ask that they stand still. Because they will not. They will jump, they will wiggle their butts, they will bend side to side, they will stretch. Because they must.

And the singing--they don't care if they are singing in tune, or singing softly, or singing in concert with their group, or not singing at all. They give as much of their attention as is preschool-ly possible to the teacher leading them, and all (well, most) of their mouths are moving. Some are to be whispering, some are shouting the words (and sometimes, the wrong words), some seem to be taking a break.

You see rapt attention, and wide smiles, or just curious looks, and sometimes, sheer terror.

You see little people poking their neighbors.

You see big people smiling at each other at the sight.

And when they sing (um, shout) "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus," for a little moment, it's easy to remember what Christmas might be all about.

When they're done, they run down the steps to their moms and dads and grammas and grampas and everyone there who loves them, and get a hug, and an "I'm so proud of you," then they are ready to go get some birthday cake and juice, and no, they do NOT want their picture taken by the Christmas tree.

Which gets taken anyway, thank you.

How about you? Have you heard the angels singing, yet?

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