Biscuit and I decided to surprise my parents by having him play at their church the Saturday after Christmas.
I was the pianist at that church for 11 years, so I've been there and done that, and I explained the whole process to him.
I called the music director to ask if it would be okay, and somehow, she talked me into playing, too. Instead of Biscuit playing one song, he and I ended up playing the whole prelude.
It's been 19 years since I played there, so I was nervous from the time I said yes until the second I stopped playing and went down to sit with my family!
Biscuit was cool as a cucumber. I was jealous!
Biscuit and I got there early to get a feel for the piano. The pressure of the keys is different on every piano, so even though the notes are the same, each one is different to play.
As we warmed up, one of my Daddy's friends walked by, patted me on the back and said, "You're right back where you should be." It was really sweet.
Mama didn't see us when she first came in. She was walking up toward the front of the church before she realized we were up there. And of course, she started crying.
About 150 people were there that morning, and the one thing I didn't explain to Biscuit was how loud it was as people were coming in. Some were coming from Sunday school, and some were just coming in, and everybody was chatting and saying hello.
Biscuit got so distracted by the noise that he looked out into the congregation. Then when he looked back, he couldn't find his place on the music. I heard him take a quick breath, so I just reached up and pointed out where he was.
When we finished, we walked down from the piano and went to sit with my family.
As we walked up the aisle, a lot of people spoke to Biscuit and me. And he got several high-fives. I was really glad people made a fuss over him.
My brother and his family were there, along with my niece's boyfriend. They took up a whole pew. Then our pew was Daddy, Mama, Jeff, me and Biscuit.
Daddy said, "I can't believe we take up two pews!"
My hands were shaking even as I, and I'll admit that I made a couple of mistakes. I actually used it for a teaching moment, though.
Biscuit and I were on the way back to my parents' house, and I asked him, "Did you hear me mess up twice?"
"I heard you mess up once," he said. "And I messed up once."
"Well did you notice what happened when we messed up?" I asked.
Biscuit just looked at me and shook his head.
"Nothing," I said. "Did anybody point and laugh at me?"
"No," Biscuit said.
"Did our hands burst into flames?" I asked.
"No," Biscuit said.
"Did anybody jump up and yell 'BOO!' to us?" I asked.
"No," Biscuit said, giggling.
"The thing to remember is that the people out there listening can't do what you can do," I told him. "They're not going to judge you or make fun of you if you make a mistake. They just enjoy the fact that you're using your talent."
I looked over at Biscuit and he had tears in his eyes. I felt like I needed to lighten the mood, so I held up my left hand and said, "Hey! I forgot my wedding rings. I guess I don't have to be married to Dad today!"
"Mooom," Biscuit said. "Wedding rings are just a symbol of being married. You're still married to Dad ... all the time."
"Aw, man!" I said. "I guess I'm stuck with him, huh?"
"Yep," Biscuit said. "You're stuck with Dad ... and me, too!"
"I'm glad to be stuck with both of you," I said. And it's true.