Saturday, December 25, 2010

All I Wanted for Christmas

When Boy#4 was born, there were those who thought I'd be disappointed at not having a girl to round out our family.

Not at all. One of my first thoughts (after "Is he healthy?" and "If you value your life, bring me something cold to drink,") was "Great! A barbershop quartet!"

My father sang in a barbershop quartet and my childhood memories are laced with four-part harmony. I loved the idea that our boys also would want to make music together and would some day inherit that joy of team.

What I didn't know when Four was born was that none of them would be able to carry a tune in a bucket. Oh, I guess that's an exaggeration, but the bucket had better be pretty darned big and have padded edges. I put away my dreams of  barbershop quartet like some parents put away their dreams of number one draft picks.

Last night before our Christmas Eve service Two, Three, and Four  sat outside the church in sub-freezing temperatures welcoming worshipers with carols played on brass instruments. I hadn't requested this; they volunteered, knowing how much it would mean to me. Boy#1 (who claimed he had deliberately chosen to play the viola for such moments as this) was solicitous and tender as he escorted his 89-year-old grandmother to her chair and stowed her walker.

I thought when they were born that I wanted a barbershop quartet. What I really wanted was sons who would become kind, thoughtful, God-loving men.

Don't bother bringing me anything, Santa. I have everything I want.

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