Last week at a Christmas party some friends of mine told me that their grandchildren did not have anything on their Christmas list that was under $100.00. My first inclination was to ask them if they could legally adopt me as one of their grandchildren. But my mind quickly raced back to a story I heard about another Christmas party that was held for our campers that attended Royal Family Kids Camp last summer.
Royal Family Camps were formed to reach out to children who have been abused and neglected. Some of them have been removed from their homes and placed with agencies providing residential care for children. A number of the campers are living in court ordered foster care. Our RFKC directors for this area recently branched out to form a non-profit organization called Kids Armor of Hope. This latest effort will allow camp volunteers and others to mentor and otherwise reach out to children in court ordered foster care. The most recent effort that took place here in Granbury was a Christmas party that was conducted on behalf of the RFKC campers.
A group of kids who live at a church supported residential home for children about 140 miles from Granbury attended the party a couple of weeks ago. Based on the reports I received, the party was a resounding success. Children who have experienced awful things in their few years on this earth were lavished with gifts and love. After the party was over, it was time to make the 2.5 hour trek back to facility, where they live. Things got interesting at that point.
Several volunteers transported the group in a 15 passenger church van. Somewhere along the way they had to stop at a convenience store for fuel. One of the men noticed the kids were quietly eyeing the candy in the store, while everyone was waiting their turn for the restroom. Mark told the kids they were free to get a snack. I think they were taken back. You would have thought that they had been taken to a 5 star restaurant and invited to order the finest steak on the menu. Mark did urge them to steer clear of the sugar laced treats since they had been at a party a few hours earlier.
The consensus of the group was to get beef jerky. Mark then proceeded to tell them that they had better get something to drink to wash down the beef jerky. Once again the kids were shocked that they were actually allowed to get a drink. Mark and his comrades were not ready for what came next.
In between bites of beef jerky they asked Mark if he could be their daddy. I don’t know how he responded to those impressionable kids that night. (I suspect he about choked on his beef jerky) That group of 8-11 year old kiddos had never had the experience of going into a convenience store with a father to buy snacks while the car is being filled with gas. (Something my kids have done with me countless times on road trips).
He and the adults accompanying him dropped them off at the group home where they reside. And they drove back to Granbury with the realization that there are kids out there who are pretty easily pleased. They have probably never composed a Christmas list in their life. They are content to enjoy a simple pleasure of life like shared beef jerky. And their desires in life are pretty basic: they just want a real live daddy…
My friends at the adult Christmas party probably wondered why I got a faraway look on my face when they started describing the Christmas lists that their grandchildren composed. I just chose to keep my thoughts to myself regarding the kids who would like a real live daddy for Christmas. It is too bad that good dads are all too scarce.