I am going to warn you upfront: there isn’t any humor in this post. In fact, I am bragging on my kid. Well, I am praising God for giving my youngest such a compassionate heart.
We homeschooled Cameron in fourth grade and his two social groups were church and Cub Scouts. I loved his church friends because their parents shared the same values we did. His church friends weren’t perfect of course, but I knew the families and I knew their hearts.
I loved his Cub Scout friends because many of them didn’t attend church, and I thought it was important for Cameron to be around kids who didn’t share his beliefs. I also know he is one of those kids-those kids who just have a heart for evangelism.
When he was five he came to quite solemnly. “Mom, I can never get married.” I hid my smile and returned a solemn gaze back to him. “I see. Could you tell me why?” Cameron had a ready response. “You see, I want to give all my money to the poor. So I can’t support a wife.” Of course by the time he was seven he had already been married twice. But that is another blog post-see below for the link.
Cameron loved going to weekly Cub Scout den meetings and liked all his fellow Scouts. He was especially drawn to Caleb though. Caleb was a child in our den who had no friends. He smelled weird, and his parents already had three older boys to deal with so he really wasn’t anyone special. His dad seemed to have checked out, as in he put in forty hours a week working so he had checked off his dad requirements. Mom seemed to really try, but with three other boys and a husband who felt he was already contributing enough, I think she saw Cub Scouts as a place where maybe Caleb could find his own. But kids don’t think like moms, so it was doubtful that would happen. Enter my sweet child.
Cameron sat by Caleb during every den meeting. Cameron chose Caleb for every activity. Cameron asked Caleb to be his tent mate when we went camping. Caleb had a birthday party and invited everyone in his class at school and everyone in his Cub Scout den. Guess who came to his birthday party? His three brothers and Cameron. Want to know what Cameron said to me when we discussed Caleb’s invitation? “Mom, I think I should be there, because I just don’t think anyone else is coming. I don’t want Caleb to be sad because no one came to his birthday party.” Yes sir-a true heart for evangelism.
Flash forward to our move to another city and Cameron’s transition to private school. He continued to seek out those people who felt awkward, weird, and socially challenged. This time his name was Michael. Michael’s mother confessed her son didn’t think anyone liked him, missed his old school, and wished he could stay home. Enter my kid. My kid sat beside him at lunch. My kid made sure that for all the class parties, Michael was on the A-List. My kid invited Michael first to his after-school hang outs at Sonic, guy sleepovers, and any other social events that he hosted.
During Cameron’s senior year in high school, most kids had fabulous parties and invited hosts of friends. Cameron had his party in the church annex with chicken tenders, sides, and birthday cake. The kids played ping pong, shuffle board, and danced. Cameron invited his entire senior class (all twenty-two of them) and Michael was one of the first he made sure was coming.
Michael structured his eighteenth birthday party a little differently. He invited Cameron and one other young man. They played golf and had dinner. I think that speaks volumes to Michael’s character, because I think he wanted the people whom he felt closest to at his party. I never asked Cameron (didn’t want to make it a thing), but I felt honored that Michael invited my child to his party.
The kids are all graduated and Cameron is in his junior year of college. Last I checked, he didn’t keep in contact with Michael. But I remember my high school and all the drama, and all the feelings of being left out or just not liked. I love that my kid included someone that otherwise would have felt left out. He’s a better person than me for sure. God gave him a heart for empathy and I thank our Father for that every day.
I try to find a lesson learned in all my experiences. I wish I had been a Cameron in my high school years. I think back to people I knew and I did not treat them nearly as kindly as my youngest did. He is an amazing kid for sure.
Please comment and let me know your stories of being empathetic, or your kids being kind hearted. Thanks!
Cameron’s two marriages-see blog post: My Kid Is Seven and has Been Married Twice