Friday, March 25, 2011

Phineas at Harlow

As I mentioned in the previous post, Brayden's experience out at Camp Harlow has been nothing short of a dream come true for John and I. Here's why....

If you consider who Brayden is as a person, he's got a lot going for him, but in any given category, he's not necessarily a "star". He's bright - and a good student - but, I don't think he has the drive to ever end up striving to be a valedictorian. He's an athlete, particularly loving football, but due to his lack of size, speed, and intensity, I'm pretty certain he won't be getting an athletic scholarship. He's funny and charming, but not so over the top that everyone knows him for just that at school as the "class clown".

But, what we've believed all along that Brayden does excel at, is "the art of having a good time" (and consequently encouraging others to do that too). Combine that with a love for Jesus, a very sensitive heart, and a certain giftedness in working with kids younger than himself (note: this does NOT apply to Mikayla!) - and it combines to make a kid who has the aptitude to make quite a counselor some day. Consequently, that's what we've always said about Brayden - as we giggle about his size playing basketball, or his inability to keep track of his assignments at school - "just wait until he's old enough to be out at Harlow - I think that's where we're going to see him shine" - and indeed, shine he did. =)

John went out to Harlow on Thursday night during the "Counselor Appreciation Evening" and was a "fly on the wall" (with a camera). He watched Brayden and Traig be called upon to be part of a skit - and them pull out all the stops pretending to be on a roller coaster (when the audience was all told they were acting out being in a bathroom stall). When five people were called to the front to give an award to someone else in the room, Brayden was chosen - and gave a sweet little speech as to why he appreciated the counselor he worked with, Mad Hatter, so much - and what a difference he made for Brayden. Just as Brayden sat down - after giving Mad Hatter a big ol' hug, Mad Hatter was chosen to give an award. And, what do you know, but he intended to give an award to Brayden - and proceeded to explain how great it was, as a first year counselor, that Brayden was assigned to him and how much it helped him. Combine that experience was some "props" from Matt (mid-school pastor) and Dave (close friend and director at Harlow) - and John was walking away from the evening feeling extremely proud.

On Friday, John snuck out to camp during his lunch to snap a few pictures of Brayden with his group of kiddos - in action. John said it was interesting in how abnormally "detached" Brayden acted towards him - as if, Brayden was serious about being professional and had a job to do, and while he was glad to see his dad, it wasn't time to give him attention....instead his kids needed him.

So, onto the pictures - a couple worth nothing are the one of Brayden sitting in a line with the rest of the counselors on Thursday night....he's SO little! And, then, the group shot of Brayden with his kids, just what a crack up it was to try to mangle six elementary-aged boys into posing....

Thursday night, on the "roller coaster":

Our "little" man:

Mad Hatter and Phineas:

Papa Smurf and Ferb:

Can you say "squirrely"?

Playing tag:

And, last but not least...the priceless image of Brayden giving some parting wisdom, while one of the kiddos picks his nose...... =)

Way to go, Phineas - we are so proud you are our son!


Tiffany said...

Way to GO....Brayden!!! Steph, I know you are extremely proud, as I would be too. What an experience for him....I see many more in his future.

StephieAnne said...

Thanks Tiffany - that means a lot as I think you and I believe in our boys and their potential a lot! Havin' fun with Rudy?! I'm so happy for you guys to have him!