Last night, we crossed some sort of line--a Charis-Is-Getting-Old line.
This fall, she began taking part in Wee Praisers, a kids' choir for 4 and 5 year-olds. Since she's not doing any sort of organized preschool beyond what we do at home with games and worksheets and projects and stuff, I've been trying to give her ample opportunity to learn how to "do" school--namely, the Sitting Still part and the Following Instructions part. Besides the obvious outlets like Library Storytime, she does several hours of Sunday School every Sunday morning, Gopher Buddies on Wednesday nights (where I am her teacher--but that's fodder for another post), and Wee Praisers on Sunday nights. I love her teacher, Mrs. Marcia, and Charis is in Mallory D.'s group. She LOVES Mallory. On Wednesday nights, I'm able to watch how Charis interacts with others and with her teachers, and I can witness firsthand how she performs the Sitting Still and Following Instructions tasks (um...let's just call it a Work In Progress.). But with the other groups, I must observe from afar, asking questions of the teachers to better grasp Charis' status and development.
Our attendance at Wee Praisers has been a little bit spotty, so I wasn't sure how well Charis would do in the first Wee Praisers performance this past Sunday night, but I was really looking forward to catching a glimpse of what she'd been learning there. We rehearsed her script in the car on the way to church, and there were several parts that she didn't seem to know. I'd start: "Psalm 100. Shout for..."
And she'd answer: "JOY!"
"No, Lord. Worship the Lord with...."
And so on and so on. I told her that if there was any part she did not know, she should just stand still and let the other children say it for her--I could almost picture her in the mini-concert, not knowing the words, tugging the sleeve of one of the helpers: "Mallory! I DON'T KNOW THIS ONE! WORSHIP THE SEA!"
We also talked about standing still and not running around the stage. Again, I watched a video of this in my head, and it seemed an all-too-likely possibility.
During the rehearsal before the "concert," I shot a whole bunch of not-very-good pictures to document the occasion. I was so proud that my little girl was old enough to be singing about how Jesus Loves her, how All Ye Little Children should Praise Him, because God is Love. I was thrilled that there were portions of Scripture that she could recite. I love it when she hides God's Word in her heart! My heart swelled. Oh, there were funny moments during the rehearsal, like when Mallory let Charis go to the bathroom and Charis returned with the front of her dress tucked into her tights. Charis crossed the entire stage before God and everybody until some kind soul noticed the wardrobe malfunction and helped her out. But all-in-all, it went very well. I was so excited to see the whole thing during the actual service.
I saved a front-row seat for Abe and I to occupy, the closest I could get to my little girl acting so grown up. Abe asked if I really thought it was a good idea to be where she could see us. He was watching a mental video where she jumped off the stage to come say hi and talked to us during all of the songs: "Daddy! I worship the SEA!"
When she came out onto the stage, she of course waved. She was being so grown-up, so ladylike! Then the boy next to her lifted his shirt, exposing his belly. Uh-oh. We hadn't covered this in the car. Abe and I exchanged anxious glances. We knew it was only a matter of time until she did this:
That's our girl. She did not disappoint.
At one point, during a particularly long portion of Scripture--or maybe it was during the Doxology, which she didn't know (we were probably gone the week they learned that one)--she went and stood behind the girl to her right, much to Mallory's consternation. Charis considered it a game, and I considered crawling under the pew in shame. Not really. It's all pretty funny when you're dealing with 4 year olds.
But for me, the absolute highlight came at the end of the Wee Praisers' rendition of "My God is so BIG."
Where did she learn that?? Yes, Charis. Take your bow, little girl. What a joy you are to watch grow!