This is the story of a young man who is going places. Good places. I just know it, and I don't even really know this kid much at all.
Let me tell you about it.
The other night, my girls had dress rehearsal for their spring dance concert. This is always a lengthy evening (like a whole bunch of hours long) as the groups run through their pieces, adjusting lighting and spacing and sound as they go. Because Aubrey is 14 we had her care for her six year old sister for the evening while we waited at home instead of on the bleachers of the outdoor theater. We packed a bag of snacks and coloring items etc and dropped the girls off.
A little while later (much sooner than we expected) we got a call from Aubrey.
I could hear in her voice that she was upset, but she didn't want to talk to me about it (she was afraid she would cry and she didn't want to do that in front of so many people). Turns out in all of the packing of stuff and working to be ready we had packed the girl's costumes for the finale, but we neglected to pack the costumes for their regular dances (yeah, great job on the ball mom).
When Aubrey's group got ready to practice she was the only one out of costume and one of her teachers was pretty upset about it. She apparently scolded Aubs pretty good, and Aubrey felt very hurt and foolish and embarrassed and sad. In this call she begged us to bring the costume to her because they were going to be practicing their piece once more at the end of the dress rehearsal and she didn't want to be in trouble again.
Ok, no problem (especially since this really was a lapse on my part). We grabbed the costume and zoomed to the theater (which is a fenced outdoor venue at Murray Park). We got there before Aubs was supposed to go on again and we sat in the stands to wait for her to finish.
Enter the young man who changed this whole night.
You see, Aubrey is a teenager who wears her emotions on her sleeve (she takes after her mother in this for good or for ill -- it goes both ways). That means that several people noticed that she was having a rough evening and was on the verge of a teary breakdown for a while.
And one of these people was a teenage boy who is in her musical theater group (also part of dance, but not exactly the same). Seeing that she was upset, this normally VERY shy (but apparently gallant) lad came over to check on her. However, not wanting to embarrass her or to make her more upset he didn't ask why she was sad. Instead he said, "You look like you are having a rough night. My sister has an ice cream stand over there, can I buy you a cone?"
Then he gestured behind them to his six year old sister scuttling around behind a cardboard box where she was running a very successful (but imaginary) fast food joint.
Aubrey smiled and said she would like chocolate.
She and this boy sauntered over to the counter, placed their orders and devoured their cones -- smiling and chatting about nothing important the whole time. The boy's sister even threw in a couple of hot dogs for them on the house. He stayed to talk to her until he was called to go run through his own dance number.
I am so grateful for this boy who had enough vision to see that my daughter needed a friend and then enough courage (because I know him enough to know that this was hard for him) to actually do something about it.
And let's be honest, dude, that line was smoooooth!
Like I said, this kid is going places.
And so is my baby girl.