December 28 – Around Christmas, not all programs are given in the churches. School kids with their teachers always do a great job with their music and recitations! And so one evening recently we were invited to Kingsville to see a program put on by the music teacher, a program in which everyone from kindergarten through high school performed.
The high school students were just about perfect in all of their presentations. They sang like angels and were impressive in their band and orchestra performance. But, even more important, it was easy to tell that they were enthusiastic, that they were not trying to steal the show, and that they were all together; united in their desire to do their parts so the group would perform well. Judging by their faces, they all concentrating on the work at hand. One tall and lovely girl, Cassidy, seemed to feel right at home with the big drum. She was always ready, with her arm raised to hit the notes at jut the right time.Kindergarten through sixth graders were so pleased to be a part of the program that they never stopped smiling, and took the opportunity to wave vigorously at their parents and friends as they stood on the stage. Not only did they sing at “the top of their lungs,” as my dad used to say, but they knew all the words and sang with expression. I was especially impressed with “Santa Love,” all decked out in a bright Santa suit and sporting a nice white beard. That little guy, who I had first worked with in kindergarten, had memorized his lines perfectly, used proper gestures, and let the audience know how pleased he was to perform for them.
When the concert had come to a close, I was more than glad that we had decided to attend. Yes, the music was beautiful and the audience enthusiastic, but it was the chance to visit with so many kids I had enjoyed working with through the 15 years I had volunteered at the school. Of course those of you who know me might expect that answer! This is the third year since I have “retired” from the school so there were some new faces on the stage. Also, some of the kids I remember so well have graduated, but there were so many who came up for a good old-fashioned hug that I will never forget what joy young folks can give. Nice to know that all of those hugs and smiles were not put on, because, being a volunteer, I couldn’t promise anything to them except my love and care and appreciation for all that they had added to my life through the years.The best part, though, was when they remembered our conversations of earlier years. One would come up to me for a hug and ask, “Do you remember when…” before others would come for a hug and a chance to ask if I ever thought about other times we had enjoyed together. Several of the kids told me that they were trying to be the best kids ever because they had promised me years before that they would! They told of their grades, of their parents, of plans for the future, and all the rest. I don’t know which of us were more blessed, but I think I was! Pretty neat those kids remember what I had tried to teach them as just a “volunteer at the school.”
As we left the school and were driving home, Dale said to me, “It’s easy to see why you miss those kids so much! They sure do remember you!” I knew the windshield wasn’t wet, so it couldn’t be raining. But where did my blurry vision come from right then? Of course, I knew. “Dale, will you please pass me a Kleenex?” I could use one right now.” – CHRIS