On Friday, the youth went to the temple to do proxy baptisms. It was Gavin's first time. When they met at the church, preparing to carpool to the temple, Adam told me Braeden got out of the car to be with Gavin. Since it was Gavin's first time, he wanted to make sure he had a good experience.
Sunday, Gavin, like the other deacons (12-13 year old boys), was going around to ward members' houses to collect their offerings. Adam was driving him since Gavin's dad was busy. Braeden said he'd go too. He said, "I'll show Gavin how to do it."
Gavin looked up into Braeden's face with a look of pure gratitude. I imagine it's a little scary to go up to peoples' doors. Braeden had his back. Then Braeden folded his long legs up and climbed in the backseat of the car, giving Gavin the front.
I have been pleased to see this behavior--unprompted and genuine kindness-- from Braeden. I decided to pay him the ultimate compliment. "You remind me of David and Dillon," I said.
I could tell he was deeply flattered. Braeden smiled.
"I think about them all the time," he said.
David and Dillon are revered like heroes around here. David is currently serving a mission for our church in Taiwan and Dillon is soon to go to Mexico. We couldn't find better heroes to follow. (And I wonder if all those times Dillon was kind to Braeden, he imagined Braeden would want to emulate him by being kind to Dillon's own brother, Gavin.)
In my mind's eye, I can see Mark following after Gavin. Gavin is blazing a trail of good choices and I couldn't be happier that Mark and Gavin are like brothers. I occasionally hear Gavin tell Mark, in urgent tones, "You can't do that, Mark."
David and Dillon
If anyone tells you one boy can't make a difference, don't you believe them.
One boy can make all the difference in the world.