Remember when you were young and your birthday was the most special day of the year? I remember being in 3rd grade and Sonya Zorn, the most popular girl in school, was having a birthday. Other boys bragged about what they were going to get her. Knowing she liked a music group called The Carpenters I took my sister’s album, cut out their cardboard pictures and taped them to a white t-shirt then made a card out of construction paper. She acted like she liked it very much and Al Crosby shot me the stink eye.
The other day Zach, an 11yr old boy and one of my Band of Brothers (a group of 6 middle school boys I mentor that have given their lives to Christ), had a birthday. Knowing his home situation and finding out no one had given him a party I asked him to come to my house later in the day. Not having the time to make a real cake we had a little store-bought cake and a few of his friends there. After singing happy birthday to him I invited Zach and the B.O.B. to spend the night. Around 11 PM I needed to run to Wal-mart for some cable. I went down to the basement to see is any of the guys wanted to ride with me and they all said “Yeah!!” then they proceeded to fight over the front seat. I reminded them I was just going to buy some wires for the projector system… it didn’t matter what it was for they were in.
“Raise your hand if this is the best birthday ever!” Zach yelled out on our way to the store. Several boys raised their hands. “Best birthday ever?”, I thought. We didn’t have time to make a real cake, no presents, his own family forgot and now we are on a boring trip to the store for some wires.
In the neighborhood we moved from this party would be considered lame and the kids would be asking “That’s it?”. The birthday kid would be dissapointed, other kids would be making fun of and bragging about their own birthdayq extravaganzas and the parent would probably be embarrassed their birthday party didn’t measure up to what the other parent’s do. But here’s Zach, all excited 8 people sang the birthday song to him and he is on his running an errand. I asked him “Why this one was so good?” and he told me “Most birthdays no one says nothing.”
While leaving the store I asked if they wanted to go through the Wendy’s drive thru and get a frosty. As you can imagine no one declined but when they talked about how hungry they were I realized none of these kids had dinner. When I asked if they were hungry and no one had eaten anything since their school lunch, besides that little piece of birthday cake. I ordered off the dollar menu and spent around $20 for seven people and we went off singing, dancing and shaking the van to some hip hop.
While in the front seat Zach was stuffing his face with hot fries and said, “Raise your hands if this is the best day of your life!”
The best day of his life? Wow.
One thing I know… it had little to do with food.
by: Mr. Thom