As I climbed off the elevator at the Lincoln Square movie theater, I noticed a display case with the costumes worn by the actors who played Jafar and Aladdin in the new film, “Aladdin” starring Will Smith. It was a fitting greeting since this was the movie I was there to see with my mentee Emily.
The evening’s flick would be one of our last activities together until the next school year begins. So, I did everything I could to make it a pleasant experience for her. There were snacks, popcorn, ice tea and a slush. We sat in prime seating and we caught up before the movie started.
Maybe because I was seeing it with Emily but the messages about loyalty, friendship, honesty, self-esteem, self-worth and female empowerment resonated with me.
As we rose to leave, I hoped I’d done enough to let her know that I accept her as she is and want nothing more than to be a loyal friend to listen, advise and assist her; that’s what being a mentor means to me. I never told her that though. But, as a parting gift I gave her something that celebrates, at least part, of her Irish Parsi heritage. I learned a lot about her ancestry during our many conversations.
In a box wrapped in gold ribbon, I gave Emily a stone with an Irish blessing on it. It reads, “May you live a long life full of gladness and health. With a pocket full of gold as the least of your wealth. May the dreams you hold dearest be the ones that come true. The kindness you spread keep returning to you.” I don’t know if she’ll think of me when she looks at it. I just hope my wishes for her come true.
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