I was at a youth meet the other day and a kid came up to me and said “Hey! You don’t remember me do you?” Shocked and embarrassed that I really couldn’t place him at the moment, I said “yeah”…Well he did look familiar! I just needed to give my brain a few moments to catch up.
You see in my line of work I meet tons and tons of kids. Some of those kids I get to see quite often because I go back to their school a few times a year. However, there is the time when they graduate and move on to middle school or high school and then I don’t see them for several years. Then I just so happen to run into them at the mall or a youth group meeting or some random place and they recognize me…because I haven’t changed in like 10 years lol! But they have!
What they fail to realize is that I have not had the chance to see them grow up or older. My brain is still stuck with them in 3rd or 5th grade. And when we have that awkward reintroduction, my brain has to have about 2 minutes to morph through the years and re-image their faces, height, weight, etc. so that I can truly say: “YES”, honestly.
There are many that I have had the privilege of seeing grow up and grow old and today I celebrate one of them: Will Wainwright. The Wainwright family has been part of my life for close to 11 years now and I have been able to share many wonderful life experiences with them! Today is Will’s BD and he’s 20 years old! I can’t for the life of me believe it though! It seems just like yesterday I was meeting him and staying in their Miami home for the first time. I remember him graciously yielding his bedroom for me to stay there the second year I came and then for many years after that he has traveled, performed, lead teams, made me laugh and been a huge bright spot in my heart and life!
Even though I have had the pleasure of watching him grow up and older, it’s still hard to imagine him other than that kid on the stage at PBCA doing sign language or running around calling everybody “fruit”, or him throwing $5.00 out the window “accidentally”. I haven’t had to re-image him or take time to morph to remember him because I’ve had the distinct privilege to walk with him through many things in life and to be a special part of his family. I love him dearly and just wanted to let him know.
Yeah, kids and birthdays come and people do change. Their appearances and faces change quite-a-bit through the years. But I’m so grateful for the more than handful of kids I have gotten watch grow up and older and not have to worry about not being able to place them because I know right where they are: in my heart. Love you Will! Have a great birthday!