On the surface it might seem like she just wanted her BFF to tag along to the water park, but there was much more to it than that.
Goodnight and I went to the lake yesterday. It was a good way to beat the heat and to enjoy the 4th of July. She had invited one of her friends to join us. The two girls did more walking and talking in chest-deep water than swimming, but there’s always so much to catch up on with them, it seems.
After about an hour, they came out of the water to where I had been sitting under a tree and keeping an eye on them.
GN: Grandmother? May I ask you a question?
Gram: (Her formality has always been a subtle clue that it was important for me to listen between the words.) Sure. What’s up?
GN: May I please have your permission to take my friend with me to my summer program tomorrow?
Gram: That’s sweet of you to ask my permission, Honey, but I’m not the one who can say yes or no. The director of the program needs to make that decision.
GN: I know, but she’s home alone all day and I don’t want her to be bored. I just wondered if you would be willing to pick her up tomorrow morning and drop us both off. After that, I’ll take it from there and ask the director’s permission.
Gram: Registrations had to be in a long time ago, so I don’t know what the director will say, but I’ll be happy to pick her up in the morning as long as she knows there is a possibility that she won’t be allowed to go.
GN: Thank you, Grammy. I love you.
Goodnight’s BFF is a grade ahead of her, but she attended the same middle school, so they’ve known each other for a while. GN has always had a heart for her friends (despite her own tough times) and didn’t like knowing that her friend was home alone while her dad had to work. Even though kids their age are more than capable of time alone at home, GN knows it would be more fun to go with a group of kids to a water park.
I like GN’s summer program. The children do community service projects in the morning, eat pizza for lunch, and then head to a water park or amusement park for the afternoon. There are enough parks around that they go to a different one each week. The service projects vary and the children are divided into groups for the summer. Each group is assigned a different service project each week.
The service projects vary. They help the janitor pull weeds right at the school. The janitor is right out there with the kids, but I’m sure he appreciates the company. It’s a large school ground, so it takes time. They go to a local day care center and play with younger children. I like this project too. It’s great for kids who don’t have younger siblings. They go to a local convent and help the nuns stuff envelopes. I guess there have been a lot of envelopes to stuff. GN’s version of that service project always makes me laugh – especially the part about the nun bringing them brownies to eat while they worked. The kids hold a car wash in the school parking lot. They go to a life care center that takes donations of baby clothing for mothers who need help with such items. I’ve donated a lot of knitted baby items to this place, so GN was already familiar with it. The kids get to sort out the baby items and then put packages together for the mothers. Good service projects.
GN’s BFF knew that the morning would involve an unknown service project – because each group doesn’t receive its assignment until they meet in the morning. GN’s BFF didn’t mind not knowing where she would have to go. She was willing to do the project.
So . . . I just dropped the girls off at the school. I told GN I would wait in the parking lot until she had time to speak with the director and find out if her BFF could join her for the day. If the answer was no, GN’s BFF needed a ride back home.
GN and her BFF came back outside, but only as far as the door. They both had two thumbs up and grins on their faces. That meant the director said yes. They spun on their heels and went back in the school to join the group.
As I drove off, I thought of how was proud of my granddaughter for thinking of her friend and taking on the responsibility of asking permission for her friend to participate in the day. Registration for the summer program fills fast and always has a waiting list to fill when someone else will be absent, so I’m glad GN’s BFF got to join her for the day.
If the service projects have taught GN to think of her friends, to work on being inclusive and to take responsibility like speaking to her BFF’s dad and then the program director, then I can’t say enough about the program.
I love watching you grow up You don’t surprise me with the kind of generosity you show because it’s what I hope for, but it’s still heartwarming to see what generosity looks like through your eyes. Thank you for watching out for your BFF. I’m glad she got to join you today. Thank you, also, for telling me that you would make sure she kept hydrated in the heat and slathered with sun screen from time to time. I can’t wait to hear how your day went when I pick you up this evening. Hope you take lots of fun photos!
Must scoot. I plan to swing by the school parking lot to see if GN is part of the car wash group. If she is, I plan to take photos of the kids washing my Chevro-sleigh. I might have to stand back a bit. She got v-e-r-y wet last year.