This was my second summer working full time for the SON Ministries Summer Lunch Camp, as well as my second summer working specifically with the kindergarten through second graders at a specific site. Obviously, all the children I get to see daily are cute and they all make my heart grow simply when I look at them. But this summer, there were two girls in particular that really had their hands on my heart. They’re sisters, one 7 and one 5, and they are the most beautiful little girls I’ve ever seen. They started out as two of my quiet friends, letting me play with them while I talked or holding my hand as we walked outside. As the summer went on, they never left my side. One sister always had a story to tell me and the other always had to be at my side. I can’t really explain why, but every time I looked at them together, I felt the lump of tears in my throat and my eyes began to well up.
Towards the end of the summer, they started telling me about their parents’ restaurant. They didn’t know what it was called or where it was, only that it served Mexican food. Eventually, they brought me business cards and started asking me when I was going to come. I gave them a date, wrote it on a post-it note for them to take home to their dad, and patiently waited for that day to come.
When it did, I pulled up with my best friend and we went inside. It was a smaller, local place, with street tacos, burritos, and Mexican style homemade ice cream. I met the sisters’ dad by saying that it was my first time in because I was their summer camp counselor and he immediately lit up.
“They keep saying, she’s coming soon, she’s coming soon, and now here you are! I’ve been wanting to tell you: thank you for taking such good care of my babies.” And as he finished talking, the girls ran into the restaurant and tackled me with hugs. I got to enjoy a delicious and authentic Mexican meal and at the end, their father said, “my daughter told me she’s going to take care of your dinner tonight, so don’t worry about paying and order anything else you want off the menu.”
I could’ve broke down right then. The whole situation just reminded me why I do this. Clearly, the three hours I spent everyday with these precious little girls was more appreciated than their father could put into words. And I realized too that those same three hours during which he trusted me with his babies, was helping me as much as it was helping him. I am forever grateful to this family because they have the biggest hearts of anyone I know.