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COLUMN: Pass the Kleenex, the children are singing again

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By Shannon Brock

You might consider me a bit of pansy or, at the very least, overly emotional because I usually get sappy and teary-eyed when I hear children sing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t start bawling when a random child bursts into a mediocre version of “I’m a Little Teapot” on television, but my eyes get a little misty when children put forth an effort and believe in themselves and what they’re singing.

I have two theories as to why this occurs. The first is that I allow myself to get the least bit emotionally attached to the children and develop a sense of pride to see and hear them performing. The second is that it’s just that sweet of a sound.

A case in point: Roughly five years ago, I spent a week during Vacation Bible School at my church back home teaching the youth group themed praise and worship songs. Learning those fun songs used to be one of my favorite parts of VBS, and I was very excited to spread that joy.

During that week, I got to know those children better than I did before, and I got to see them grow and improve on those songs day after day. Not only did I develop a sense of pride back then, but to this day when the youth choir gets up to sing and I see some of those kids — now five years older — step into leadership roles and sing their hearts out, you better just pass me the Kleenex.

Part of me is just bursting at the seams because I’m so proud of them, but part of me just can’t get over how good they sound.

I say all this as kind of a warning because I will be covering the District Honors Children’s Choir this Saturday and I fully expect to at least have to hide a few tears.

I don’t know these children nearly as well as I do the ones from my church, but I’m just as proud to see them succeed.

Covering education is a big part of my job and that means I’m in the schools a lot. Some of the students are involved in multiple activities, and it’s not uncommon for me to know a child’s first and last name and that she tried out for all-state choir and is also a member of the academic team. I recognize the spelling bee champ when he wins first place in science at Governor’s Cup. It’s just what I do.

I’m constantly writing stories and taking pictures of awesome kids, and I love it when they do well and achieve great things. (Plus, they make me feel good about myself when I walk into a room to take their picture and they yell out, “Yay! You’re Miss Shannon from career day!”)

So, when I cover musicals, when I take pictures at plays and, yes, even when I listened to Mrs. Meredith’s Saffell Singers practice last week, I try to pass it off as an unruly contact, but the truth is I’m almost weepy because I’m so proud and impressed.

No matter whether you’re a crier like myself or if you’re the polar opposite and prefer to be a stoic audience member, I doubt you’ll be disappointed at this Saturday’s performance. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Anderson County High School Bearcat Theatre and it’s totally free. I’ll be there, and not just because I’ll be working.

If nothing else, you’ll hear an amazing performance and get to point at me and laugh, then offer me a tissue.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.