So a bit of background. I work with the elementary kids at my church. K-5. I love this age–the young ones, who are just starting to get socialization skills and doing stuff away from mom; the fifth graders, who think they can take on the world. The girls that are just starting to become girls, and the boys that are just such a boy. It’s always a blessing to be able to work with them. On Sunday mornings I teach every other week. There is the main lesson, then we split into small groups. I have a helper, her name is H, she is awesome. She was actually one of my kids when I first started working with the group, and the last two years she’s been one of my leaders. A ninth grader, she is fast growing up into such a beautiful girl. On Wednesdays, I help with the kids choir. This year, we have 119 registered to be in our production on March 3. Yes, you read that right. One hundred and nineteen children. When they’re on, it’s amazing. And working with them, while you sometimes want to smack them upside the head and tell them to get with the program, is usually an amazing thing as you see them filled with God’s grace.
So we’ve been bribing the kids the last few weeks. Not a pretty way to put it, but it’s the truth. We’ve been randomly handing out Airhead candy to the kids that are doing well. They’re so funny–they know the rules. The minute they get it, it goes under their seat and waits until 650 when choir is over to pull it out. The first week that we did it, the kids asked me what my favorite flavor was. I was honest–I’ve never had Airheads candy. Didn’t know what it was. Had to ask. Not a big candy lover, I figured I wasn’t missing much.
There are two kids that try to see who can get there first to sit next to me on the top row. Both are fifth graders. One is a girl who is new to the group who I got to know during the Christmas production. She’s really starting to joke around and lose the shyness, and is such fun. The other is a boy who was grown in the church and who is from what I consider one of the finest families in the church. His older sister is now in sixth grade, younger brother in second. And this kid, wow. All of them, really, but this one is what we call raised right. Just like his sister.
Which is why I thought it odd the last few weeks. He kept telling me, “Miss Kelly, I don’t understand. I know all the words, I sing loud, I stand up when I’m supposed to, I don’t talk when Miss Lisa says not to talk. How come I haven’t gotten an Airhead?” I would answer I don’t know, J, they hand them out at random. Keep doing well, and you might get one. For three weeks he kept asking me. Then tonight, he finally got one. Orange flavored to boot. As soon as he got it he turned and handed it to me. I looked at him like he was off his rocker, he wanted it so badly. I gave it back to him, and he said, “No, Miss Kelly. That’s why I wanted one. I wanted to give it to you because you’ve never had one before.”
Doesn’t that just melt your heart? Have to admit, I felt a little shamed thinking he’d been complaining a bit much about not getting one. Leave it to God to teach me a lesson at the most random of times. Such a beautiful moment.
I didn’t take it, of course. Gave it back to him and said it was all his, he worked hard for it, he could have it. And he gave me a huge hug. And I still have a giant smile on my face from this precious, precious child. Love him.