This summer, instead of girls camp, the youth in our church congregation had the opportunity to go to something called FSY the next day (For the Strength of Youth). Kind of a glorified “summer camp” with counselors and classes and dances and so many opportunities to learn and grow.

Lucy had stars in her eyes about that prospect. Social things? Oh boy she loves them. Independence? She’s ALL in.

There were a few things that seemed ominous to her mother though, so many unknowns: her unwillingness to use her cane in unfamiliar territory, her morning shot, blah blah blah, but most importantly: no roommate.

All the girls she knew in our area had already paired up easy peasy. Roommates chosen and locked in.

Some kids could do this sort of thing alone. I still remember one sports camp years ago when Max didn’t have a roommate. I was worried sick about it going in, but that boy didn’t blink an eye. He thrived just fine. But Lucy is a different story. And she was right with me knowing this wouldn’t be possible without a special kind of roommate who knows how to help her maneuver.

That’s when that plucky little girl of mine came up with the idea to ask a girl named Charlotte from her basketball team. I was hesitant. I didn’t know this girl at all. But Lucy was persistent. She got Charlotte’s mom’s phone number for me, and I called.

You know those moments when things fall into place and you’re just sure they are being orchestrated by Heaven? There’s this blanket of calm that washes over you and you know it’s going to be ok? This was one of them. Things fell into place. Charlotte knew Lucy well, she happened to be free those specific summer days, and she was in.

Miracle #1 had fallen into place.

Problem #2 after figuring out the roommate problem #1: the session Lucy was signed up for was full.

Miracle #2: I was miraculously able to get a hold of the right person who opened up a spot for that roommate, knowing Lucy’s situation.

But there was still worry. It was tricky to get a hold of anyone to answer my questions (makes that miracle #2 that much more amazing…this is a relatively new program they are still trying to figure out some kinks). Would there be anyone who could give Lucy her shot? Could Lucy’s dorm be closer to the classes so she didn’t have to maneuver as far? The biggest worry for me, to be honest, was that we were leaving for Lake Powell with Claire and a whole slew of friends while she would be gone. Was she going to make it ok?

One night as Lucy and I read through the upcoming FSY schedule together my heart started pumping. I was reminded that this thing was FIVE DAYS LONG! There were all kinds of classes…and dances (Lucy thinks dances are simply the worst thing ever invented:)

But still, that blanket of calm came over me again.

I happened to be talking to a friend on the phone and happened to mentioned that I was trying to figure out Lucy’s shot while at FSY. Never in a million years did I think that since this friend happens to be married to an oral surgeon he just may have had his kids practice with IVs and injections before. I mean, who does that? But my friend jumped in and told me her older daughter would be at FSY the same week and would be happy to give Lucy her shot (she loves Lucy and has taken her under her wing many times).

Miracle #3.

But still, after all those miracles the Sunday before Lucy left I was a basket-case.

Lucy was too.

This was scary business.

There was SO much that could go wrong: would her sweet roommate be ok with her moods? Would her counselor be able to understand her and nurture her? Would she use her cane as promised in unfamiliar territory? Would someone be willing to do her hair in the mornings? How would the showering situation go? How would she handle the dance even after all our discussions? How would she handle lack of sleep and unfamiliar food? I heard there were SIX HUNDRED kids in this session, would people take Lu under their wings with all that commotion? Oh there was so much to worry about.

But we pulled ourselves together after we both shed some tears and headed off the next morning with her darling roommate.

We met up with some other darling friends for some lunch before check-in, all the nervous anticipation and excitement mixing together:

Under my big smile and “you’ll be great!” attitude with Lucy, I was secretly a giant ball of nerves helping everyone lug their suitcases to the check-in, finding the medical helpers to explain the situation, finding (with a breath of relief) her counselor so I could let her know Lucy’s situation, making sure her shots were ready, helping the girls unpack and helping make up their beds.

But you know what? That blanket of calm wrapped around me again. Lucy was excited. She has such a good roommate. There are SO many FSY helpers even if there was a problem, what was the worst that can happen?

And Lucy was ready for her mom to leave:)

I cannot tell you the relief that washed over me when I took this picture, knowing all was calm and settled:

And along with that peace came some excitement. As I left those girls and I started the two hour drive back home the world started opening up to me. It was going to be ok.

Lucy had this.

Lucy called me one day in, her hair obviously not done, her glasses so smudged I had no idea how she could possibly see out of them, but she was smiling. She was doing this thing.

She had some pretty good ups and downs as to be expected, but I got pictures like this and it made my heart soar:

And this one from her cousin who we didn’t even know would be in that same session:

Bottom line is that SHE DID IT!

Miracle # 26 🙂 That is the most amazing accomplishment I have to say, and a very huge step towards being more independent, her biggest wish.

I want to always remember sitting in the boat as I cleaned it up, both of us home from our adventures (Dave and I had just arrived home from the senior trip with Claire) as the sun sank on the horizon, just me and Lucy bathed in it’s hot goldenness, her spilling out every detail of FSY, both of us getting a little teary about the goodness of it all, and the awe that she did it: that amazing week of learning and growing: a humongous step for both of us.

So grateful for all those miracles that made it possible, and that girl who knows how to make things happen.

Love her (and that darling roommate of hers) forever and ever.

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  1. Thank goodness everything worked out and she could enjoy her time their. Sounds like she has some good friends.

  2. Lucy you are amazing! It looks like you had a great time at FSY. The kids in MN are anxiously awaiting when FSY comes here. It has been delayed due to COVID. Keep being your awesome self 🙂 I am grateful for you that the blessings fell into place and that you had a great time at FSY!

  3. FSY..that’s the booklet that admonishes young women not to show shoulders or double pierce…. did your other girls attend one of these events??

    1. Does anything in this post pertain to shoulders and double piercings? Who cares if her other girls attended or not. She’s posting about Lucy and her amazing accomplishment. So happy for Lucy and her mom! ♥️🥰

      1. Actually the FSY DOES pertain to shoulders and double piercings. I’m sorry, I thought that the point of sending children to these types of camps was to TEACH them the tenets of their faith so that they carry them into adulthood and APPLY THEM in their future LIVES as members of this church. I didn’t think it was just a fun time to socialize. I wondered if the older girls were sent to these camps also, and if so, what did they take away from it. I would think that if it “took” then none of the older girls would show shoulders or have double piercings. This religion is such a major part of this family’s life, I am not sure why doctrinal questions from a non member seem to upset everyone here, and put them on the defensive.

        1. I so wish you happiness, Sister Peg. Wow. I am not sure if you realize how upset you appear in your comments when really, I’m wondering why you let it so much. This is just a family who loves Jesus and they are trying their best way they can. Perfectionism doesn’t befall anyone in this life. Really though, your strong emotion just makes me hope you are okay and happy. I wish you a happy day and hope life is alright with you.

          1. Liz, I truly appreciate your concern but I am extremely happy and my comment does not reflect any hostility. No one is suggesting that anyone be perfect. Deciding what to wear based on your church’s standards does not require perfection. It requires obedience, in an area that is not all that difficult to comply with. I have seen other comments where doctrinal questions are put out there and rather than answering them, people respond, as you did, in a very condescending manner, suggesting that there is something wrong with ME for asking the question. That in itself speaks volumes. I am not LDS, but I really think that there is a lot more involved in this faith than “loving Jesus”. They have a lot of admonitions on dress, modesty, morality, diet… and I can see that maybe some don’t take them all that seriously.

        2. How would they know until they go through the program? People who aren’t members read the pamphlet and then go nuts. Must be old JW who treated every leaflet like scripture. There are constant comments here about shoulders. And only about the girls shoulders, creepy. Go look at a photo of a BYU student on swim team. Adult temple going garment wearing members of the church. You will see, gasp, an exposed shoulder. The swim suits look like everyone else’s. When you go to get prepared for youth events and prep for the temple you learn all about it not a clip from a pamphlet. Thee is more to it. Exercise you don’t wear them, dress as if over 18 and through temple. And the pamphlet changes. It used to admonish about hair curlers in public. Yet we saw the little ones with rags to curl their hair online. OMg. They changed the rules about curlers. What is next? They older BOY (who never gets shamed) & 3 of the girls are adults and not youth. The three oldest have gone through the temple and have recommends so obviously their church leaders think they are doing just fine. She also just said this was new and replacement of girls camp for some summers, like trek. So the older ones did other programs. Clearly you didn’t read the entire post. The fourth child while an adult is not really old enough to get a recommend yet unless she marries next month. In a year maybe a mission or marriage and she will go through the recommend process. Adult in standing to take on wearing the clothes that unless the activity dictates differently that they cover shoulders. They really don’t prepare 15 year olds for garments. It doesn’t effect them.

          1. Interesting. Here’s what I read in the most current FSY pamphlet. Note that the booklet is not just for people over 15 who are ready to go into the temple. It is to prepare the younger people before they are old enough so they will be used to the standards.

            “The standards presented in this booklet are a guide to help you make correct choices. Follow the standards in this booklet, and encourage others to live them as well.
            Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God.
            Remember, true freedom comes from using your agency to choose obedience; loss of freedom comes from choosing disobedience.
            Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest.
            Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back.
            Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.
            Homosexual and lesbian behavior is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction or you are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you.”

        3. FSY conference is not in existence to go over the pamphlet. A tenant if faith would be about God being creator, not a dressing culture that changes with each printing of the pamphlet. Not even in hard cover for pity sakes. The things in hard and soft bound are scriptures. The things on flimsy paper are not dogma nor deserving of drama.

    2. I honestly cannot believe you would take time out of your day to not only think such judge-mental thoughts but then to actually come here and type them out. I’m in disbelief that people actually behave like this.

    3. FSY…This is a new program. It replaces EFY. I am sure her older children participated in the EFY program. I believe they are similar…. This is the first year for FSY.

    4. Sister Peg, what I don’t get is the relentlessness of these questions. As I think it’s pretty obvious:

      That booklet advises against showing shoulders, it hasn’t changed in that context (unlike the hair curlers). Sometimes the Pothier women and girls show their shoulders and wear short shirts, so obviously, they don’t follow the advice 100 %. And yet, they consider themselves as religious (as far as a blog reader can tell).

      So obviously, they aren’t picture perfect LDS, but sometimes grey. Why keep asking on Shawni’s and on Charity’s blog? What do you expect to hear other than the obvious you can see in the pictures?

      1. I don’t mean to be relentless. I guess what I’d like to hear Shawni “say” is “We show shoulders and double pierce our ears. We know our religion frowns on these things but we do them anyway because we don’t care what our religion frowns on.” But I know that won’t happen.

        1. Except for the general attitude in the last part of the last sentence – I think Shawni says exactly that concerning showing shoulders by posting pictures of herself showing shoulders. She hasn’t spelled it out in an answer to your comments, but I don’t think there is any need for it. Because it is so obvious (and absolutely irrelevant to me, for the record!).

  4. Congrats Lucy! What a big step. And what a wonderful friend to room with. I remember going to summer camp without a roommate and feeling like I would be an outcast. But the counselors were awesome and set a great tone of hanging out in common areas and looking out for everyone at our end of the hallway – I felt such love that I *still* remember it years and years later.

  5. This is SO amazing!!! So proud of your girl!! Thank you so much for sharing the miracles and hour experiences of peace as a mama

    1. Oh Lucy!! This is so great. Two of my kids are signed up but they can’t go with our stake and so they are going without roommates and this gave them such encouragement that they will receive their own miracles!!

  6. Wow! That’s huge. Congrats to you and Lucy! I still get nervous when I drop off my (typically developing) kid at a new day camp so I know how hard this is!

    That roommate of Lucy’s sounds like a very special young woman.

    1. Sorry! I should have said “I APPRECIATE how hard this is.” Congrats, again, to you both for taking this big step

  7. Sorry! I should have said “I APPRECIATE how hard this is.” Congrats, again, to you both for taking this big step

  8. My daughter is an FSY counselor this summer and it makes me SOOOOOO happy that Lucy had a great experience.

  9. Isn’t there a nurse that can give the shot?

    How many senior trips are there? With one so long after graduation and most 18 did you have to be there?

    1. No, there was not a nurse to give the shot, we sure tried. So the fact that this older girl was practiced in giving shots was another little miracle!

      And good question as to whether we needed to be there, yes, the kids couldn’t have done a houseboat and speedboats without adults. And it was a great opportunity to be with these kids. We learned so much from them!

  10. I love that Lucy was able to go up and be more independent! I can imagine how hard that was on BOTH of you! But my heart is warmed to know she spent a week with a roommate in a social environment that felt safe and uplifting. These programs are so wonderful to build up individual confidence and testimony in the youth, I’m so grateful for them!!

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