Saturday, March 21, 2009

happy, happy

well happy weekend, friends. hope you're out frolicking in the sun, putting your boat in the lake, downtown at rachel ray's sxsw party, or at least relaxing at home and watching your tivo'd friday night lights from last night. i myself am getting ready to have a night out on the town to celebrate the one and only PETIKEI! that's right. we have a birthday girl on our hands. i wanted to do something cute and fun on here to commemerate, but chick-fil-a was out of chicken minis today and i'm having a hard time being creative. so i decided to tell you one of my most favorite stories about this co-blogger of mine...

allow me to set the stage. it was the beginning of summer about six years ago. i had literally just graduated college two weeks prior and hadn't started working yet and lct and i decided to be 7th grade girls camp counselors for a week at our church camp out on lake travis. so very many things transpired that tiny week in our lives... stories, people, situations and life lessons we learned that we still re-hash and laugh about to this day. for example, there was basically an epidemic of "woman issues" in our cabin... alllllll 30 13-yr-old girls left in our care decided at some point during the week that it was their turn to "start" and we were constantly having to tell them "no, you did not, go back to land rec." or there was one precious girl who would crawl up into our bunks (FULL headgear on) and go through her pictures of her and her family and her pets and her pet's pets every. single. night. i just remember being so thankful that the cabin was dark so this little camper couldn't see us trying so hard not to laugh, as lct and i didn't even know headgear still existed and could not understand one word coming out of her and this contraption. i could go on and on, but one story has been burned in my memory... something i will never forget and even believe it has caused me to live differently every day since.

for two hours everyday all the campers are forced, or, um, blessed to take part in land recreation. everyone gets a colored wristband when you get to camp and this color is your "team" for the week... so all the games you play during land recreation are tallied up at the end of each day and it's a big competition to see which team wins. i think the grand champion at the end of the week got pizza or ice cream or something... i have no idea. it was always so hot and instead of being a good counselor who helped her campers out by going and cheering them along, i would most likely go get a sno-cone and then take a nap in the air conditioning. this was not true for lct. that girl would be out there right in the middle of these 7th and 8th grade girls and boys- cheering and screaming, making sure everyone was hydrated, and more than anything, making sure everyone was having fun.

so the challenge one particular afternoon was an obstacle course that ended in a climbing wall. i can't for the life of me remember his name, but one of the boys on lct's team was just one of those kids. you know, one of those junior high boys who had absolutely nothing going for him... he was right in the middle of the puberty change, came from an awful family life, didn't have any friends... on top of that he was hefty, slow, uncoordinated... and he was designated to be the one to finish the climbing wall for his team. as soon as he took his first step/stumble onto the wall, the whole team rolled their eyes and knew it was over. his teammates started walking off, not caring anymore, totally admitting defeat before this poor kid even had a chance. but then out of nowhere came a "coooooooome onnnnn!!! you can doooooo it!!!!!! just a few more steps and you got it!!!!!!" it was lct. the kid took a few more steps up the wall... other teams whizzing by him, but he kept going. lct started another catchy cheer and before you know it, her team was paying attention again, yelling for this boy who five minutes ago they wouldn't give the time of day to. he takes a few more steps up the wall and now EVERYONE in the whole camp had gathered and is yelling for him, "you can do it!!! you're almost there!!! just... one... more..... YAYYYYYYY!!!!"

he made it.

all the other kids were finished and had gotten water and were now at the bottom of the wall, yelling him on as well. he slid down the back and walked over to everyone and i kid you not, he was beaming. the kid came in dead last and had the most elated, joyous face i have ever seen one anyone. lct ran over to him, gave him a huge hug and said... and i'll never forget this... "oh man! you did SO great! i thought you were going to win the whole thing!!! but it looked like your shoe had come untied?! i could tell it was bothering you a little bit. dang shoe! oh well, that was amazing!!! you were such a super star!!!!" he looked at her like a million lights went off in his head and was like, "oh yeah, you know what? i think you're right, my shoe was a little loose. oh well!" and he ran off to the huge crowd that was waiting to give him high fives and walk to the cafeteria with him so they could all sit together for dinner.

i would have never in a million years thought of the shoe thing. it was genius. that sweet boy knew he was bigger than the others, knew he was slow and knew this was the reason he never excelled at sports, etc. but all of a sudden, none of that came into play at all. it was his shoe! and an untied shoe is an easy problem to fix. i'd like to think he left that experience believing he was just like everyone else and could go on to compete or do anything he wanted to with no excuses… because his shoe would always be tied and that day a whole bunch of people saw him as someone who mattered, someone who could do it, someone who was worth the cheers.

and it all started with this silly camp counselor and her relentless positive attitude that believes the best in everyone. she wasn't purposefully meaning to impact this guy in such an amazing way, she was just naturally doing what it is she does best... she was being Jesus to him in a way he desperately needed it.

so happy birthday, lct. thanks for accepting, loving, laughing and being exactly who you are. love you more than you'll ever know! petikei and all :)


Tiffany said...

Thanks SEM for retelling that story! Happiest of birthdays LCT!! I can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow night. :)

I'm now crying (I'm pretty sure I have a hormone imbalance that causes constant tears) over the precious story and my total vision of Lauren saying every one of those words. Thank you for being such a special person and taking the time to change that boys life!


JenandRob said...

Love that story Sarah. Thanks for sharing it. LCT hope you got my message. and Hope you had a great b-day. Love you and miss you lots. jen

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