This past Friday I, along with Mindy and Darren Leavitt, a few other parents and grandparents, and the finalist players on the boys and girls tennis teams, were all huddled together in the shade (it was a muggy 95 degrees) on the far west sidelines of the very first tennis court (not the courts that have the lights) watching Lindsey demolish her competition. As great as it was to see Lindsey win her matches, it is the following experience that I hope never to forget.
During the match, Darren Hardy (Senior tennis player) called his younger sister Camille Hardy (Junior) and asked if she would bring him his sunglasses. When she got there Camille walked up to the high fence that separated her from her brother. The gates to the courts were locked and the kids told Camille to just throw the glasses over the fence and someone would catch them. Both she and her brother were concerned that her throw would not be adequate and the glasses would fall and get scratched, or worse, broken. Without hesitation Camille scaled the fence and when she saw Darren, she gently dropped the glasses into his hands. Her climb, genuine concern for his glasses, and kindness in responding to her brother's request, were impressive to all who were watching this scenario unfold, but not nearly as impressive as what happened next.
We all assumed that Camille had driven a car over to the courts; so when we saw her hop on a bicycle and peddle back towards her home (again, it was a muggy 95 degree day) we were all a little taken back. Exclamations of: "Did Camille really ride her bike all the over here just to bring you your sunglasses?" and "Are you kidding me! She really did that for you?" were directed to Darren. Then Darren Leavitt asked Darren Hardy if Camille was always that kind. Darren Hardy assured us that his younger sister had indeed hopped on her bike and trekked on over just for that purpose and yes, she was always that kind. Darren Leavitt followed up with: "Is that kindness reciprocated?" Darren Hardy sat silent for a few seconds, thinking, and then sheepishly replied: "No, not quite. I ask her what I can do for her all the time, but she doesn't tell me anything. And I try to think of ways I can pay her back for but I never do." Those of us who were listening to this little exchange had looks of disbelief as well as awe on our faces. Darren went on to tell us that Camille does things for him simply because he asks her too. No pay backs. No guilt motivation. No doing it for something in return. She acts because she loves.
I write that my children may know that I desire for Camille's example to not just have a reflective impact on me, but an impact that causes me to emulate her actions. To act just because I love.