Her name is Sam. If you ask my daughter she is the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. She has brown hair, bright red lipstick…and my daughter fell madly in love with her new “sister” from the moment she saw her dance.
Perhaps I need to tell this story from the very beginning…
Two years ago my kids and a friend of mine and her daughter went on an Alaskan Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. This was our second cruise together and we absolutely love them. The kids’ clubs, the food, the pools, the scenery…it’s really quite amazing. If you haven’t been, you should! And no, I don’t get paid to say that. There are also performances by the dance crew and that was where my daughter first saw the magic that is Sam. She gravitated to Sam on stage and when she had the opportunity to meet her, she was all smiles, hugs and obvious adoration.
Before we left for the cruise, my daughter had to decide if she wanted to even go this year, because by doing so she would miss her first ever dance recital. I said we could bring her costume and she could do a private recital for us on the ship. She agreed and thought that was a great idea.
After meeting Sam, she was bound and determined to invite Sam to watch her recital. She drew a picture invitation (she was 4 at the time) and we dropped the invitation off at customer service, just hoping that it would find its way to Sam. I prepped Miss P that the dancers were very busy and that we weren’t even sure if Sam would be able to make it with her busy work schedule. I was fully prepared for tears and disappointment.
The evening of her recital came and just as we were about to start, Miss P gave a little squeal and I turned around to see the beautiful Sam and her then fiance (now gorgeous husband) Brian coming to watch my daughter perform. It is kind people like Sam & Brian who help me believe that there is goodness and kindness all around. Sam watched Miss P dance, she taught her a few moves and loved and hugged her up. These are moments of pure joy that my daughter got to experience because of someone else and I will never, ever forget them.
Even better? Miss P received her own drawing invitation from Sam on our cabin door inviting her to the final performance on the Norwegian Pearl. Miss P made it quite well known to Sam that she was there by standing on her chair a few times and waving her big Miss P waves.
We managed to keep in touch with Sam while she finished her contract with Norwegian and we even got to meet up with Sam & Brian in Victoria on their last port visit before they left the ship to get married. Again, I won’t forget the moments Sam shared with us, as magic simply surrounds my daughter and Sam when they’re together.
Fast forward two years and here we are. I recently got a message from Sam about filming a short video about customer service and making connections between the staff and the cruise-goers. And, of course, they wanted to do a story on Miss P and Sam. The best part? They decided to fly Sam out to surprise Miss P and spend the day with her.
The day of the shoot came and Miss P was a bundle of nerves. It’s absolutely nerve-wracking as an adult to sit on a stool in the middle of a room with a mic on, lights glaring and video cameras pointing, nevermind being a 6-year old. But Miss P handled it all A-OK. We had told her that Sam would video call us and that at least she’d get to see her and talk to her on video. She kept saying “I really wish she was here, Mama. Wouldn’t it be so fun if she was here?”.
Then, the doorbell rang and Miss P went running to the door, as she always does. I followed behind. She opened the door. Then turned to me and whispered, “She’s here.”. And with those two words, my heart exploded and joy filled my soul from the happiness Sam had once again brought to my daughter. Sam and Miss P spent all day together. The picked rocks at the beach, they jumped on the trampoline, they watched the Trolls movie and Sam even got dragged to Miss P’s swimming lessons. All of this in an 8-hour day.
So, why do I tell you all of this? Because, for me, I wanted to capture these moments for my daughter. I want to teach her that kindness can lead to many wonderful experiences and going above and beyond for someone can change their lives. I’m not sure Sam has any idea of the impact she had not only on my daughter, but on me. There was the opportunity to be “too busy” to come to the recital or meet us in Victoria, but kindness won. And for that, I am beyond grateful.
Sam, you are magic and wonder and absolute love. Not only through the eyes of my daughter, by through my eyes and with all my heart. The two of you have a special connection and there’s no one I’m more privileged to share my daughter’s adoration with than you.
I will remember the cruise on the Norwegian Pearl for all my life, because it taught me the power of kindness, of going above and beyond. It made me believe in the magic of childhood adoration and all the possibilities it holds.
Thank you, Sam. With all I am, thank you.