Friday, November 2, 2007

It Was Worth It

As a family of six living on a military income we are not one to usually buy our children the latest electronic wonder gadgets. Okay. We are not one to EVER buy our children the latest electronic wonder gadgets. When Nate surprised me with my 30th birthday hot pink iPod Nano Taylor drooled and swooned. "Oh, Mom. That is SO cool." And one of the endless questions ever since then has been, "Can I use it? Just for a bit. Please?" And around holidays, "You could always get me an iPod."

To which our reply remains constant: "Taylor, you know if you want one you're going to have to save your money and buy it yourself." Now, if this was Jordan he'd have bought his own by now. Taylor's money, on the other hand, stays in his wallet just about as long as food on his plate.

Weeks ago our youth group (Which he's old enough to be in! Ack!) announced they were helping at the Pumpkin Party. Whoever came in costume... was the most helpful with ANYthing they were asked to do... and stayed IN CHARACTER the ENTIRE night...

would win a new. silver. iPod. Video. Nano.

I have seldom seen my firstborn's face more determined. He wanted to be a Knight in Shining Armor so he could come to everyone's rescue. We planned. I shopped the dollar stores. I cut cardboard. I modified a friend's laundry basket. I spray painted. Two hours before he was to be setting up for the party the paint was dry and we tried everything on... to complete and utter dismay. He looked like a distant version of an 80's Star Wars character. NOT a Knight.

"But if we..."

"Taylor, you don't look like a knight."

"But maybe if I..."

"Taylor, you're not going to win anything in this." There were tears. Frustration. Maybe a nerd? Maybe a ninja? The iPod could not be given up on!!!

Then Nate said, "Why don't you go as a girl?"

Quiet descended over us. With wide eyes I turned to my husband. Genius. Pure genius. I raced up the stairs to Brit's dress up clothes as fast as I could go. The dress! The wig! The gloves! The purse! It was all there!

"A girl? No! I don't want to wear a dress? I can't be a girl!"

Nate and I grew serious. "Taylor. Listen. If you can pull this off... if you can keep this on and talk like a girl all night... that iPod will be YOURS! This is it. This is THE winning costume."

As he donned his lovely attire his resolution began to wane. When he slipped his wider-than-mine feet into my pink bow heels he groaned, "I can't believe I'm doing this!" After I applied the second coat of mascara he grimaced, "Mom, my eye itches. What do girls do when their eyes itch? This feels really weird." As we hit a few houses for a bit of trick-or-treating before he left I could tell he was embarrassed, hanging at the back of the pack, hoping he didn't see any of his friends.

On the drive to the church Nate got him all revved up. "You've got this now. It's up to you. You can do it. All night. Keep up the voice. We won't be there 'til later. This is up to you now."

And then he was out from under our encouraging words.

An hour and a half later the rest of us headed over. There were many great costumes, lots of kids serving, and it was obvious they were gunning for the iPod, too. But we were so proud of Taylor when we saw him helping everyone, talking in that high pitched voice, tending to the little costumed kids playing the game he was in charge of... and he was still wearing the heels! People came up to us over and over, saying how amazing he was and how they couldn't believe he was pulling this off! As the evening drew to a close our youth leaders took the stage and called all the youth up. "And the one who served the most... had a great costume... and stayed in character ALL night...

The winner of the iPod is... TAYLOR!!!"

Everyone in the room erupted into cheering and whistling! I was jumping up and down! Taylor was jumping up and down on the platform in his dress and heels, pumping his fists in the air while still clutching his handbag. It was a joyous, joyous moment.

Afterward we found out the youth leaders had put spies in place to watch all the kids, making sure they stayed in their characters ALL night. They were all blown away that Taylor didn't stray once, never dropping his high pitched girlie voice, not even to talk with his friends... who were quite impressed and thought he was VERY cool to attempt something like this.

Taylor now has an iPod Nano. The NEW iPod Nano. It's loaded with David Crowder, Superchick, Relient K,, Mallory Lane...

and he could NOT be happier. Our son, whom we never, EVER buy the latest electronic wonder gadgets for, now has the coolest one out there. But more than that, he saw that when you set your mind and follow through, you can accomplish what you started out to do. And even when it looks like you've failed, being flexible and trying new things can still accomplish your goal, albeit maybe not in the same way you originally expected.

Some snapshots of the night, including Taylor the Girl and Jordan the Nerd with our friend Tammy (the donor of the now mutilated laundry basket); Brittney the Bunny; and Ian the Cowboy, who was caught orange-handed hiding behind some chairs downing cupcakes as fast as his little mouth would go.

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jwhite said...

I hope you're not surprised when Taylor comes to you in another 10 years and tells you he has decided to go through with the surgery.

Thany said...

You told me he won on the phone but I didn't know it came with such an amazing lesson and reward of Good Work! That is so amazing! I am going to extend the pat on the back to you and Nate too...good job on that young man!

Brandi said...

You go GIRL!!!!!!!!!!

esther said...

Yes, he was quite lovely. A perfect lady. Bethany told me she secretly wanted his dress. And I told her she would have to save up her money. Kids!!!

*emmy said...

And he is one pretty looking little lady too ;^). Way to go Taylor we are proud of you! Enjoy your ipod you for sure earned it.

Angela, you must of been so proud when they annouced his name and you saw your boy jumping up and down holding his purse (hee-hee). What a cutie and determined little man you have.

Carol said...

Way to go Taylor! And frankly, those shoes are too, too cute!!

Summer said...

That's awesome! I'm excited for him. I usually don't have the latest high tech stuff because I can't imagine spending money on it when I need something more practical. HOWEVER, I splurged just a few weeks ago for my birthday and bought myself the green Ipod nano and I LOVE IT! But I like his story more than my selfish one.

terryl said...

That is such a great story! Taylor will remember that night for the rest of his life!

Anonymous said...

Visiting from NaBloPoMo. What an awesome story! I almost had a iPod nano given to me at church last Sunday. Our pastor was teaching on envy and asked for three volunteers to come up who wanted to win a Nano. My hand shot up so fast and he called me up as one of the three. One by one he gave us a bag and we had to open it up. The first woman got a Nano, I got an iTunes gift cert & the last person got an apple. Oh well. Then again I do have an iPod video...I was going to use the Nano as a Christmas gift!

Glad Taylor won! Looking forward to visiting.

Anonymous said...

I love love love Jordan's hair long! I saw it in one of the pics below. He is so handsome with his dark curls. He looks like someone very could that be...ME? Don't cut his hair short. I like it long. He kind of looks like John Mayer.

amber joy said...

I laughed and giggled through all of this little re-telling. tell Taylor I'm extremely proud of him. It's hard to walk in heels.

Mark said...

Haha... what a great story. Congrats Taylor!

Susie said...

RE: Taylor was jumping up and down on the platform in his dress and heels, pumping his fists in the air while still clutching his handbag.

I lvoe this description! What fun for him to win with his dedication :)

MomOfDudes said...

Yeah Taylor
The IPOD is a cool thing.

Great job earning it