Yesterday on our Facebook page I told a silly story about Amelia, the six year old Original Pigtail Pal, getting dressed that morning and wearing her leg warmers in a very unique way — she was wearing them over a pair of leggings, on her thighs, rolled at the ends with clashing socks up to her knees and had tucked a row of small plastic dolphins around the rolled end. I suggested maybe we tone it down just a bit for school. She agreed to leave the dolphins at home, the rest of her went to school as is.
The story ended with one of her usual one-liners, this time it was, “My only option is to be awesome.”
During the conversation that followed on Facebook one of our followers said, “‘My only option is to be awesome.’ I’d wear that on a shirt.” (waves to Lori L!)
I thought it was a cute idea, but had just launched three new Full of Awesome designs and was swamped with dozens of holiday orders. But Lori’s comment got 61 likes in twenty minutes. And then a second comment further down the thread also got a bunch of likes. Then I got an email from a mom whose little one is fighting cancer, and said she needed a shirt like that for her and her child. Maybe Lori was on to something…
While I was eating my lunch I opened a couple of emails from customers who had received their orders and were raving about the shirts. They were fantastic to read, and each took the time to tell me what “Full of Awesome” had come to mean for their families. Later in the afternoon I saw one of our babysitters who is away at college and a medical-marvel brain cancer survivor post that she wasn’t feeling good and her exams were coming up. I replied on her facebook wall that I hoped she felt better, but I know that because of her medical history, even a little flu bug for her gives her mom a small heart attack because good health is just different after your child has stared down a brain tumor and kicked its ass. Hayley wears her Full of Awesome tee when she goes for follow up scans to make sure that thing is good and gone. The strength and grace Hayley demonstrated during her ordeal makes me cry every time I think about it, and why she is one of my sheroes.
Hayley has become a mentor for other kids with brain tumors, and she and her mom do a great deal of outreach to other families. Included in this is sending Full of Awesome shirts to other kids fighting cancer. I hate that these kids are sick, but I love sending them care packages that might help make it just a little bit better.
Full of Awesome means the same and different things to each of us. But what we all know as a collective group is that living Full of Awesome is a choice. Every day we wake up and we have that choice. I learned this when I was in college and volunteered at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital in the library. It has always been one of my favorite jobs. I used to take a book wagon around and visit each little patient in their room, and help them swap out books. And I always liked the oncology floor best, because although it would be another fourteen years before my child would teach me the words for it, these kids were so COMPLETELY Full of Awesome.
So long story long, Lori’s comment + my amazing friends Hayley and her mom + some PPBB community families fighting childhood cancer + wanting to give back something to these kids = Our new Full of Awesome design.
Because time after time I hear of or meet families with these incredible kids who are sick and it seems they just know no other way but to be awesome. It is their only option.
I called Hayley’s mom, my buddy Cheri, and asked her how I could give back with this t-shirt and who would she choose to have PPBB donate money to. I asked “Is St. Jude’s a good choice?” at the same moment she said, “St. Jude’s”.
So PPBB will donate $5.00 for every “My only option is to be AWESOME” design sold (on a tee, long sleeve, sweatshirt, or tote bag) to a group helping with pediatric cancer research and other childhood diseases each month.
To get the new tee, go to our shop HERE. (http://www.pigtailpals.com/awesometee.html)
If you know a child (or adult) who is sick and would like to talk to me about sending them a special gift, email me at email@example.com.