Last weekend I ended my winter vacation with Forts and Fairytales: a Family Fun Day for the clients of Building Bridges Pediatric Services.
1 day of forts, fairytales, fighting (yes fighting), fantasy and fun.
What. A. Blast.
The parents were refreshed and encouraged, the kids had a blast, and the volunteers were impacted and blessed as they too became knights, princesses and dragons.
From knight training to receive swords and shields, to fantasy play in a giant castle to every group creating castle cakes, there was never a dull (or down) moment. The kids had fun being kids by themselves (including a GIANT pillow fight among forts) and made memories as a family as everyone played crash the castle (bringing out the competition), getting face paint, and making a family flag. Tears came to eyes as we presented each family dressed in fairytale costumes. A concert and the children’s talent ended the day.
I could tell story after story about all the awesome parts of the day. But what I keep coming back to is the story about what God was doing not in the families participating, but in my own family.
For years it has been my mom’s dream to do something like this where she would be able to encourage the parents of all her kiddos. She sees the whole picture and wants to support them in every way, laying her life down day after day. What a joy it was to get behind her and support her in living out her dream, not only because of the delight I find in playing with kids, but because of the mark it is on our relationship.
I don’t know how we have come across for the last decade, but there were many years in high school and college (and maybe even after if I’m honest) when our relationship was rough. We disagreed on a lot. It seemed we constantly had different plans and wanted different things. And we are both strong willed to say the least. Yet regardless of her plans for me she has supported me in living out my dreams. What a blessing to have the opportunity to support her. I’d be lying if I were to say we agreed on everything now. We don’t. But something’s different. God’s worked in each of hearts. He’s changed us both. And us doing this together was a testimony of that.
She’s my mom, supporter, friend, and partner. I couldn’t have it better.