But, when you become a parent, no one tells you that you are now responsible for instilling and teaching those things into your child. They don't come out knowing this stuff you've always known. They don't know that if you let go of a cup, it will drop to the floor. They don't know that if you touch a hot iron, it will burn your fingers. They don't come out of the womb knowing the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
And, it's not until you need them to know something that you've always known, that you realize you are the one who is supposed to teach them that.
So it happened a little over a week ago to me. I got a call from someone at my church. Our church has been making really cool videos since we got a new pastor. They were making a new one for the Advent season, and needed a little girl to sing "Jesus Loves Me."
"Would Molly be able to do this?" they asked. "Sure," I replied. "She'd love to."
First mistake: Assuming Molly would be thrilled. When I picked her up from school that afternoon, I told her about going up to church to sing on the video. "No, I don't want to do that!" she said rather emphatically. "I'm a horrible singer."
Well that just about broke my heart. I had no idea where or when she would've gotten the idea that she was a horrible singer. I told her over and over that she wasn't a horrible singer. She would never tell me why she thought she was, though it did explain why she never wanted to join the little kids choir at church.
Second mistake: Assuming Molly would know "Jesus Loves Me." After I work for a while to convince her that she is not a horrible singer, she finally says, "Mommy, I don't know that song." What do you mean? Doesn't everyone just know this song? I mean, she probably would've learned it in the little kids choir if she had joined, but since she didn't, it was on me.
Cram session time! It was the first of what will probably be many sessions of me cramming with her to learn something. Oh yeah, did I mention that they needed us the next day? It was "Jesus Loves Me" central around our house for those 24 hours. We watched YouTube videos, we sang while we ate snacks, we sang outside. I mean, it was constant.
Plus, I found out that Cory didn't know the song, either. So, it was all on me. After working for 24 hours, we showed up to church to sing. I was nervous because, honestly, I had know idea how she was going to do. But, she got up there, in all those lights, and sang her little heart out.
No, she wasn't perfect. No, she wasn't another Charlotte Church. But, it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. And, yes, I almost cried watching her. I don't know if it would've been quite the same if we didn't have the struggle to get there.
No, she wasn't perfect, but my baby girl was brave enough to get up there and sing, loud and clear, even when singing wasn't something in which she was confident. To me, that shows amazing strength and bravery. So maybe, the biggest lesson from all of this wasn't me teaching Molly "Jesus Loves Me," but, instead, Molly teaching me about being brave. And for that, you couldn't find a prouder momma.
|Shooting the video|
And, just so you can all see (Aunt Jan, better get your kleenexes handy), here's the finished video: