Wil was elected to homecoming court by his freshman peers at Manchester Junior/Senior High School. As you can imagine, my heart swelled — for Wil and for his friends, and for any positive ripple effect beyond the borders of their school. Wil’s friends didn’t vote for him to make a statement. They voted for Wil because he is their friend. And yet their example makes a statement.
When Wil and I went shopping for his homecoming outfit on Thursday night, Wil made very thoughtful choices. He sought out a maroon tie as Manchester’s school colors are maroon and gold. He then found a checkered shirt to match his tie, though I’m still unsure if the checkers are maroon and black, or maroon and navy blue. It was of no consequence, however, as Wil was determined to find navy blue slacks. (Navy blue is his dad’s favorite color, and these were grown-up slacks, so I followed the logic). As Wil typically wears casual pants that come in S-M-L sizes, I was shocked to discover Wil has grown into a size 32X30!
Each piece of Wil’s outfit, once tried on, deserved a dance in the mirror. Wil didn’t want to use the dressing room so I helped him button the checkered shirt over his t-shirt, then put on his tie. He opened his arms wide in front of a mirror, commented on how good he looked, and spun around to get the full 180-degree view. I helped him pull the navy blue slacks up over his shorts. He wiggled his hips with moves that would make Elvis stop and take notes. He then put on his new shoes and kicked out what looked like an Irish jig.
Satisfied with his selection, Wil removed the new clothing, stacked it up to carry it, but chose to wear the new shoes home. We made our way to the cashier, though it took us some time. Wil stopped for a high-kicking dance in his new shoes at each mirror along the way; his new wears draped over his left arm.
Wil never meets a stranger at the store. And no wonder. Who wouldn’t be drawn to the refreshing energy of a teenager that so quickly and freely shares their joy? By the smiles on our fellow-shoppers’ faces, I have no doubt a positive ripple effect extended beyond the borders of the store.
Wil reminds us how amazing the simple pleasures of life really are, even if we are all grown up! Wil’s not living his life in an effort to make a statement. And yet his way of life does exactly that.
By the time you read this he will have walked across the court. So that will have to be a story for next Monday.
In the meantime, whenever you pass a mirror, remember to kick up your heels and do a quick dance along the way for Wil and his friends. Every positive ripple counts.