I heard rollicking approach from the boardwalk and down the ramp onto the docks. The chatter and laughter continued as young people clamored aboard the neighboring boat. I was in the cockpit processing images on my laptop. One called out to me, with confidence and a rather contagious exuberance, “Hello, nice to meet you”. I looked up to see a young lady of about 11 years old. So outgoing and polite.
A moment later, a man approached. Probably the dad, I thought. He introduced himself and apologized… perhaps for the disturbed peace, as now tuning of violin, viola and cello came from the back deck of the fishing boat. Wow, the sound was unexpected and my curiosity peaked. I was being blessed by the sound of youthful wonderment. Jim told me his daughter, Lillian, and her friends were on their way to rehearse with their music teacher on Bay Street and they always like to come to the boat when they are downtown. “I guess they think it’s kind of cool to have a dad with a boat at the marina”, he said.
By now, the girls were having a great time climbing the boat’s tower. Jim said it makes the boat top heavy, but the kids love to climb up there. This is a dad who clearly knows how to let kids be kids. He seemed sensitive to the importance of the relationship the girls had formed and to the memory making opportunities.
Olivia, 12 and Grace, 12
I asked questions about where they would be rehearsing and learned that they are a trio preparing to play at their church, Meadowbrook Baptist Church, for upcoming youth Sunday. “The youth will lead the whole service on that day,” Lillian told me. “What is the name of your trio?” I asked. The three looked at each other, I think trying to come up with a name on the spot. Suddenly, Lillian laughed and announced: “The Three Musketeers”. Perhaps the trio name was an ah-ha moment, but it was obvious it was not a new concept for the three friends. I remember: inseparable friends whose motto was “All for one, and one for all.” What an amazing love is that.
The three have been friends “since birth”, Lillian told me. Although they all go to different schools, they spend time together on the weekends and in the summer. They all like playing music, but also share an interest in sports like soccer and basketball.
Once, Grace moved away briefly. She was missed a lot, but all things seemed rightfully restored when Grace’s family was lead back to Beaufort. So this special friendship continues. In the middle of the tower climbing I heard Grace exclaim: “I wish this was Friday so we could have a sleep over tonight.”