Last week the kids started our parish children's choir. I sat with Sarah during the rehearsal, at her request, and enjoyed each little tune. She barely sang above a whisper, which surprised me to no end; at home she sings loud enough to peel the paint off the walls.
At the conclusion of each song, I noticed that she turned and gazed expectantly at the mothers who were sitting in the pews, waiting for their children. "Why don't they clap, Mommy?" Sarah wanted to know. "I don't think they usually clap at rehearsals, Sarah," I explained. She pouted.
I tried another approach, and when the next song concluded I clapped my hands together enthusiastically ... just loud enough for her to hear. "Hurray!" I whispered.
Sarah was not amused. "No, Mommy! YOU don't clap! You SING!"
Fair enough. (*sigh*)
Meanwhile, Christopher was carrying the tune manfully in the second row. He kept turning and looking behind him; the organist had caught his attention with this "king of instruments." After the rehearsal was over, he made a beeline to the organ and got an impromptu lesson about how all the pedals and stops and keys work together to create the sounds of a symphony.
"Can I play it?" This request caught me by surprise. I had started lessons at the tender age of five, and was hired by a local Lutheran congregation seven years later as their organist. It was there that I cultivated a taste for liturgy.
I must confess, I felt a little thrill when I saw that Christopher wanted to learn to play the same instrument that I had studied as a child. In the same way, I feel my throat get tight whenever I hear Sarah's voice echoing in my ear as we sing together at Mass. Although they do not have our "music genes," they have obviously caught our love for music.
Adoptive parents often wonder whether nurture or nature is the stronger indicator of how a child will turn out. I suspect the answer is, "both." But today, I was so grateful to find one more way that our children are truly, "ours" -- that is, that they are like us. We would love them even if that was not the case, of course. And yet, such unexpected gifts make the loving that much easier, that much sweeter.