We are working at a Habitat site in Whitestown, Indiana this week, but they can't hold 27 youth so we are rotating 1/3 of the youth out each day. Today was my day off with 9 youth. I let them sleep in and then took them downtown to a mall and a movie.
Then I pulled my prank.
The Followers have a tradition of pranking during their summer trip. I came down really hard on them the second day about the limitations of pranking (like not while people are sleeping...a new rule for them.) I figured I was going to have to pull a prank so they knew I wasn't a total jerk about the whole thing, but that I just want some sensible boundaries on the tradition.
So I asked my cohort today to help me. We went to the grocery store and then to Walgreens and I came back to the church with a bandaged arm in a sling. I whispered the truth to the adults right away and the older boys swear they never believed it, but for about 3 hours many of the youth bought it. And they were very, very sweet to me, which made me feel terribly guilty.
So then I switched arms, and a few of them figured it out. Then I played Ultimate Frisbee, and a few of them still weren't sure. I think by now they all have it.
It's been, oh, 30 years since I did anything like this. I sort of forget how, and I hate lying! And to see how compassionate the kids are, and know I am putting them on...oh, what a tangled web and all. I'd better not get hurt the rest of the trip or they'll never believe it! But I guess I wanted to understand the prank thing better and not just stand crabbily outside of it.
Of course the danger is that now we have three days left and I've asked for it. Stay tuned...