When you hear a group of sixth graders singing out “Baby you’re a firework” with all that is in them – not caring who is listening to them – it makes an impression on you.
The Redwood Valley school gym was converted into a makeshift kitchen this past Friday, as hundreds of RVMS students made up thousands of meals for others. With each cup of rice and spoonful of vegetables, those students ensured someone on the other side of the world was going to be able to eat one more meal. To those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from that small gesture makes a world of difference. I don’t know exactly how much each of the students grasped about what they were doing and how much impact their efforts would have on people they are never going to meet. What I do know is they made the effort. They collected the funding to make their meals. They stood and added scoop after scoop of food into plastic bags. They performed the task. While that impressed me, what was even more impressive was how much fun the students were having as they did it. They smiled and laughed as they worked, and as music played in the background students collectively sang along. When you hear a group of sixth graders singing out “Baby you’re a firework” with all that is in them – not caring who is listening to them – it makes an impression on you. I am not a singer, although when I am in the car all by myself I might sing along with the radio. I recall several years ago my best friend from high school, Mike Nydegger, and I went to watch “The Bodyguard.” Yes, I know that is definitely a chick flick, but we didn’t know that. Anyway I enjoyed some of the music from that movie, and so I bought the soundtrack on cassette. One day as I was listening to that music in my car I found myself singing along as Whitney Houston sang “I’m Every Woman.” Quickly I recognized what I was singing and wondered aloud how many other times I had belted out those lyrics with the window of the 1976 Thunderbird I used to drive rolled down. Thankfully at that time no one was around. Let’s just say that was the last time I played that tape. I replaced it with some AC/DC music singing along to “Thunderstruck” doing my best Brian Johnson impression. Let me tell you that hurts after you do it for a while. Anyway, I have learned from my children, especially my Martha, to sing loud and proud, like those RVMS students. Life is far too short not to enjoy it, especially when you know what you are doing while you sing is helping someone else.