Cowboy Boots

Every single day I watch him cross the road with his sister and his grandmother. A lot of those days he is wearing a pair of cowboy boots. He loves those cowboy boots. Every day he is wearing a million dollar smile. He’s one of the happiest kids in the school. His older sister shares the same joy. Is there any greater joy than a happy child? These two little ones are a blessing to the world already, even at the age of five and eleven. His hair is usually a little bit messy. His shoes sometimes on the wrong feet. Sometimes he even has food on his face. But there isn’t any stopping that grin. And I’ve never seen him in a bad mood.

She has been through quite a bit. Going on middle school isn’t the easiest time for any of us, but for her, life has already been tougher than anything middle school is going to throw at her. She walks around the halls wearing that same grin as little brother. Her face lights up when she sees you. I can’t help but think that school may be the place that they are happiest.

They both deserve the world. And I hope they find it out there. They’re pretty tough kids. Resilient is probably a better word. It’s amazing how resilient a child can be. Unfortunately they have both seen more in their earliest years than many of us experience in a lifetime. Thank God for their grandmother. She is God’s act of mercy for those two. When they make it somewhere in life it will because of her, that resiliency I was talking about, and a community full of people that loved and cared about them.

Their father lost his life in a motor vehicle accident. Got hit by a car and died on impact. Not an easy thing to deal with for an eleven year old, much less a five year old. He was a man with a lot of struggles. His life was crippled by the impact of drugs. Sometimes we just can’t overcome our demons. It’s a sad world we live in. Especially when it directly impacts the lives of children.

Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with tragedy. It’s hard to know what to say, how to say it. It’s often easier to just ignore it. But, for the school these two children call home, ignoring it is not acceptable. In fact, it’s not even an option. When the people at this school say things like, “Our kids need to be loved,” they mean it. They put action behind it. So I wasn’t surprised when I saw eight of that school’s faculty members go out in the pouring rain to take food over to that family the day after facing their greatest tragedy. Eight faculty members, from the plant manager to teachers to the principal, stood in the foyer of that house to deliver that food, but more importantly to offer love, support, and prayer to that family.

I know those two kids have seen a lot in their short time on this Earth. I think they saw a lot that day too, a lot about love, a lot about support, a lot about family. And I imagine it is going to be remembered...for a long, long time. And I imagine it is going to make a difference. And long past test scores and report cards and evaluations, isn’t that what we are here for, to impact the life of a child in ways that nobody else can?

These two are going to be just fine. It isn’t going to be easy. It’s never easy. But we can accomplish a lot when we know we are loved.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

Adam Walker