Erin surprised us all recently. She’s been going to the kids choir practice at church for some time and came home from practice one night with the announcement that she had volunteered for a solo.

“WHAT?” we replied.

When I was a kid (and now too), I would have faced a firing squad before I would have volunteered to sing a solo. Erin obviously takes after her mother; although Melissa was pretty surprised too. Proud, mind you but surprised nevertheless.

Well, she was excited and practiced around the house often. When the time came for the performance, she added the news of a further challenge: they would also be playing the chimes (which are like handbells but not bell-shaped – they look more like square tubes and sound different than the bells). To me, this sounded like so much complexity that it was guaranteed to produce foul-ups.

I was nervous.

When performance time came, everything went off without a hitch. Erin sang, the other kids sang, there were several more solos, and the hand-chimes were played without mistake.

It was a miracle; at least to us parents. And of course, to me, Erin sang much better than the rest of those no-talent hacks but I can’t be trusted to give an honest opinion on this matter. The ultimate review actually came from the most unlikely source: big brother Evan. He offered an unsolicited opinion that Erin did really good, adding that most of the other kids hit a flat note at least once. I figure that if the big brother thinks it was good, than it was indeed good. Melissa expects great things from our kids and when she gets great things she smiles with satisfaction. Me, I smile with relief but the end result is the same.

Many parents try to live vicariously through their kids; usually by putting them into some sort of sport and pushing them psychotically or subjecting them to the worst evil in our society: cheerleading. I’m more of the kind of guy that tries to appreciate them for what they are rather than what I would like them to be. During that performance, Erin made it a little easier to do that.

Erin herself took it all in stride as if it were no big deal. Then she went home and made the usual big mess by not hanging up her clothes and strewing stuff all over the house and the magical moment was officially over.

Back to the real world.