Why Do I Do DI?

I am sharing this with permission from Lisa.  Lisa is a long time supporter of Destination ImagiNation in North Dakota and has been a champion for the young people of the state. Her passion, enthusiasm and dedication to our program has been both inspiring and a breath of fresh air. This is not the first and is surely not the last bit of inspiration to our board of directors as we prep for our 2012 Affiliate Tournament.

Good Morning to you all!!!

As the tournament is quickly approaching, the e-mails are a flying in, the lists are getting made and my vehicle is suddenly getting full.  The scurry of last minute details, school keys  being transferred for person to person, the double check of the to do list, the hamburger needs to be browned and the “Flormatcharooni” game needs to be laminated; all these things are left to do. But right now  I sit for a few moments alone in my home.  It is quiet and I am thinking why do I do DI?  The is a huge boiling, churning pit of excitement and anticipation in my stomach for these next few weeks.  I can hardly wait to see the school filled with kids in costume and dragging sets through the halls.  I promise you I will be in tears at some point during that day and tears of joys at that!  I am thrilled to see the kids present their challenge solutions to their families and team managers. The positive support from those loving people for the kids is the most wonderful thing to watch. We as a board and appraisers, while necessary, are lucky to be included in this.  These kids have put their hearts and souls into their challenges and I am anticipating those solutions, coupled with their humor, art and teamwork.  What a wonderful day for these kids to be celebrated for being exactly who they are… smart, funny, artistic, and BRILLIANT!  Little do those kids know what they have learned from their participation.  Teamwork, persistence,public speaking and goal setting are some but we all know that many, many more things are in this program.   I see those things in my son, Lane, who has grown to be a wonderful and articulate young man with DI.   I know as the Class of 2012 leaves Central Cass this year, it graduates many students who are going to make a difference in their worlds.  I am so proud of them! (I’ll be crying then as well, just to warn ya!)

So in the next few weeks, when I am feeling a little overwhelmed and my lists are getting a little to long.  I am going to think of a grandma who last year, at appraiser training, sat across from me and told me all about her “little bugs” and their challenge.  And yes, she and I were crying a little tear or two of joy by the end of that conversation.  And rightly so because those kids had worked so hard and they well dang cool! (You know who you are, Linda!!)

I do DI for the kids…the big ones, the little ones, the ones from my school and the ones from other schools, the girly girls, the tom-boys and the boys who have risked ridicule by dressing up in CRAZY outfits! (Once a North Cass boy wore a dress in a challenge!  He rocked in my book!)  They are the soul of this program.  I also do DI for the parents, the siblings, and the grandparents.  The are the heart of DI.  They support and cheer and beam with pride and then should!! They have driven kids around, rearranged their schedules, and been there through it all   I do DI for the TMs, who have given up hours (for which they are never thanked enough) and their homes to make this happen. The TMs who deal with kids, parents and all the other emergencies that arise.  And truly, I do DI for ME!   Because I love how I feel inside when I am part of something that is so special!  It make me feel like I am helping the world in my own  way.

So I can hardly wait until tomorrow so that we can show others how wonderful DI is.  We will let them see what it is all about and light fires in them so that they may feel this way, too!  That way they will appraise with their hearts as well.  And in the end help our DI kids!

So in the next couple weeks when I am feeling a little swamped, I am going to think about a group of space aliens from the planet of Femaleta, carrying a set that was painted like an all pink mall with 400 white Christmas lights glued into their dark alien sky and the one boy on their team who was stranded on their all girl planet. (Who incidentally told his team managers when asked if he it bothered him that he was the only guy on the team, “Heck no!!!  Have you looked at the girls on our team?”)  I am going to think about all the fun and the pride I felt for them that day!  And I am going to give this year’s teams all of my best because I am helping build memories.Years from know kids will look back at March 31st, 2012 and remember all the fun they had presenting their challenge and showing us their solutions!

And it is going to make me feel wonderful!

This board rocks!   Thank you all for the hard work that you are doing to bring this day together!  It is just so awesome!!!

Lisa Anderson
Create ND Board Member
“Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.” -Bhagavad Gita