We haven’t done the karaoke thing in a while; it’s been a few weeks now, I think. Part of the reason is because the place up in Idyllwild has started making the kids leave at 10pm, and the karaoke doesn’t even start there until 8:30, so it’s not really worth the drive for such a short stay. The local place, Casa Gamino, is the other option, but that’s a little awkward for me since Steve practically lives there. Also he has apparently worked his way through most of their waitresses and at least one of them seems to resent my existence, because she glares balefully at me the whole time I’m there and won’t wait on me. And when you’ve got one waitress and EVERYONE ELSE AT YOUR TABLE has the other waitress? Yeah, that’s a little awkward.
Today at church, instead of the usual congregational singing, all the children came in from the Sunday School area and lined up to perform. I was surprised, since my kids hadn’t mentioned anything about that, and I was wishing I’d brought my camera.
And then the Children’s Music Director set up a mic out in front of the group, and gestured to Elizabeth, and my girl came up front and belted out the lead vocals with karaoke-polished expertise.
Later I commented to the Director that Elizabeth hadn’t told me she was going to be singing today, and she replied, “That’s because I didn’t tell her. She seems to do better that way.”
After the service people came up to compliment Elizabeth on her singing, and she responded with a fetching combination of charm and airiness, “Thanks; I do karaoke too, you know.”
I was struck by how much she had grown and changed since we started coming to this church back in September. And struck more by the further evidence that every single step along the way — even the apparently frivolous detours, like the karaoke thing — has served a tangible purpose in our lives.
Last Friday I had lunch with our Pastor (he was the only local person I could think of who could talk me down from the splendid rage I had worked myself into over, you know, stuff) and he said basically the same thing about me. That I’m almost a different person from the one who had first come into his church six months ago. I FEEL like a different person. Like something completely new beginning to emerge from an old cocoon. (Or as the pastor put it, “Right now all I can see is your beak.” Same concept, different metaphor.)
And I don’t need any special events to help me see that Luke is a healthier, happier, more confident boy than he was six months ago.
And the really cool part? I’ll probably be saying the same things about all of us in another six months, and six months after that. The road’s too winding for me to see very far ahead, and some days’ journeys are rougher than others, but I’m walking along it in (mostly) joyful gratitude and an absolute faith that it’s leading us to a much better place than where we’ve been.
And my lilacs are showing unmistakable signs that spring is near. It’s really hard to feel grumpy in the presence of swelling lilac buds.
Just keep walking, that’s the key.