With Christmas season in full swing, I have been teaching the kids a few classic Christmas songs. I incorporate the lyrics into an English lesson, encouraging them to read the words, not just mimic me. Slowly they are recognizing each of the words and the repetition of specific ones. It helps that they love to sing.
With a schedule in place and enforced, the kids go to bed around 9 p.m. This also means they wake up at about 5 a.m. I often hear them first thing in the morning, wearily singing their own songs. But, with a little bread in their stomachs, they come out in full force around 6 a.m. singing loudly. Their little voices, which I find far more endearing in the evening, permeate through my earplugs. One kid sings “Holy, Holy” another “Jingle Bells” and one of the teenage girls, with attitude in tow, belts out “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” I’m annoyed. I want just one more hour of sweet sleep. She seems to raise her voice as she passes my door. “Go tell it on the mountain,” vibrates through the walls. It’s as if she single handedly feels responsible for getting the song, “over the hills and everywhere.” I toss. I turn. I surrender. I’m up. I unzip my net and think, “what have I done to myself?” Next time I sound just give them a drum set and a loud speaker. Again, I’m NOT a morning person.
I slowly make my way to the bathroom. The already bright sun stings my half opened eyes. One of the boys belts out, “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,” although his mouth can’t quite form “bells” and it comes out as ball. (We’ll have to work on that)
I make my way back to my room. Oblivious to my stoic stare, the youngest gives me a big hug with a running start. I nearly fall over. She starts singing “Go Tell in on the Mountain.” As I reach my door I hear that most of the girls have settled for the same song. At least now the noise is in unison. I’m surprised they’ve remembered the notes and the words. Their voices are starting to sound a bit sweeter. I peek into their room. Some of them have their eyes shut, some of them are swaying. They aren’t just singing, they’re praising. They are singing from their hearts. I realize that although I taught them the words, I can certainly learn a thing or two from their song.