TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Sofia Hargis-Acevedo
Mom, for being the best dance mom on the planet
Over the past 13 years, you have helped me get to and from dance practice and competitions, do my hair and makeup, make sure all of my costumes were packed, and ensure that I was always having a good time. I just want you to know how incredibly thankful I am for you; you are one of the strongest people I know, and I aspire to be just as amazing as you are. I love you endlessly, Mom, and there is not one thing in the world to depict how much of a role model you are to me.
Dad, for the countless car rides spent listening to impeccable music
On many weekends or weekdays, the car rides spent listening to my Spotify playlists I made especially for those occasions—“in the car with dad,” “in the car with dad vol. 2,” and “in the car with dad (taylor’s version)”—are what make my days ten times better. Singing and dancing and laughing with you is the best escape from every bad aspect of my day. Even now, with me in the driver’s seat logging in my hours and you shouting at me to break, I am still so grateful to have that time to spend with my “dear old dad.”
Carolina, for simply being Carolina
Though we don’t always see eye-to-eye in situations, you are the best sister I could ever ask for. You’re extremely funny, and your witty remarks at the dinner table have all of the family laughing, including you, for that matter. You sometimes burst into tears over something that was not even that funny, which is what I absolutely love about you. You are a fresh breath of comedic relief in my day, and I am so grateful to have a sister like you.
Merrik, for being the best cousin anyone could ever ask for
I miss you. So much. I can hardly wait to see you this Thanksgiving. Like you, I have been counting down the days, and they have been going far too slow for my impatient self. I wish we lived closer to each other. I wish I could see you more often than every six months or so. Though I treasure our late night talks in Aunt Shirley’s guest room bed catching up on all the latest news in our life, I wish I could see you so often that those conversations weren’t necessary. You are everything I could ever ask for in a favorite cousin. I love you so much, and I cannot wait to see you.
Aunt Shirley, for being the kindest, strongest woman I know
I do not think I have ever met someone who has gone through so much in one lifetime. And after every single endeavor, you emerge even stronger than before. I adore you and the huge hugs you give me when I walk through the door after riding in the car for seven hours to see you. I love all the ‘Do what?’s and exclamations when you stand up or when you’re cold. I love every aspect of you, Aunt Shirley, and I hope to one day be a fragment of how strong and benevolent you are.
Blue, for being the best dog I could have ever hoped for
Yes, I am fully aware that you cannot read this because you are a dog. Though if you were, I would thank you for greeting me with such excitement and love when I get home from school. I would thank you for lying in my lap when I do homework. I would thank you for always playing fetch with such enthusiasm, though I do wish you would actually give the toy back to me every now and then. I would thank you for being absolutely hilarious and never failing to make me laugh. I would thank you for keeping me company during the COVID-19 shutdown. I would thank you for loving me every single moment of every single day.
Sydney Race, for the daily FaceTime calls, our shared adoration for our pets and Taylor Swift, and for being an all-around amazing friend
No matter how minor of an inconvenience I encounter, or if I simply need a person to talk to, I can always count on you to pick up. The call may start with one of us crying over some sort of homework we do not understand and end with us arguing over if people can have purple eyes or not. Your FaceTime calls were, for an extensive period of time, the only way we hung out. Besides your birthday party in fifth grade, we hadn’t actually started hanging out at each other’s houses until the beginning of this school year. Even though I see you every day at school and on many weekends, your FaceTime calls are what get me through the day, even if we are just sitting in silence.
Most of our calls revolve around the same two topics: Taylor Swift and our pets. Seeing you cuddle and play with Roscoe through my iPhone and you forcing me to take an excessive amount of screenshots is, even though I complain about it, something I always look forward to. I also greatly appreciate that, no matter how much he can scare you sometimes, you are always excited to see my dog when you come over. And trust me when I say he absolutely loves you. It was exciting for me when I discovered that we both have a strong penchant for the awe-inspiring Taylor Swift. Now, we spend way too much time discussing her songs, trash-talking Jake Gyllenhaal, and arguing over which album she is going to re-record next (and it will be 1989).
Sydney, a few paragraphs is nowhere near enough to express how thankful I am to have you in my life. You make me laugh harder than I ever have. You brighten up my day just by being here. I love you so much, and I am so happy to have you as one of my best friends.
Kyra Thomas, for sticking by my side for the past eleven years
If I could choose who I would spend my childhood with, I would immediately say you. There is no one else I would rather play Barbies and create intricate backstories with. I could not imagine a better tap duet partner. Though it always makes me mad, I could not possibly fathom losing the Alphabet Game to anyone else besides you. Yes, I’ve finally admitted to it, I am indescribably terrible at the Alphabet Game. You’re the only person I would actually comply with if I was told to read with someone during our sleepovers, only because you are so persistent.
I was so excited when you got into The Twilight Saga not long after I did—watching the first four movies in your basement while snuggled up in the brown reclining chairs, wrapped tightly in warm blankets. That night started both of our uncontrolled obsessions over Robert Pattison, and though it was a weird time for both of us, I would never trade it for anything. I also take full credit for your adoration for The Hunger Games, even though you didn’t truly get invested until you watched all of the movies with your family.
No matter how hard I rack my brain to remember, the memory of you kicking your tap shoe into the audience has yet to resonate. Though I imagine it was hilarious at the time, that moment does not even compare to all the fun we’ve had eleven years since then. Kyra, you are one of the sweetest and most caring people that I know, and I am so thankful to have you as one of my best friends.
Kaylin Schueneman, for all the car rides in Mred and making conditioning ten times more enjoyable
Though car rides with you are a new thing, driving to and from school or dance with Mred, the black Honda Pilot, is something I will always enjoy. Being in your presence is so refreshing, which makes Thursday night conditioning much easier to get through. I love you bunches, Kay, and I am so happy to become even closer as the year progresses.
Maya Sneider, for enduring Geometry with me and always standing with me as we cluelessly watched the football games
Thanks to Mrs. Potts’ project on The House On Mango Street in Honors English 9 last year, you and I were able to become closer, and I could not have been happier. Now, I spend every morning with you—though most of the time I am still extremely groggy and only partially aware—in Mr. Pierce’s Geometry class, where we both unsuccessfully try to solve proofs. I spent a majority of the Friday nights this fall with you at football games, where we cheered when everyone else did, because neither of us know the logistics of the sport. I am so happy that we became close again, and I am excited, though a little weary, to see how the rest of the year in geometry goes with you.
Allie Beaumont, for being the sweetest person I know
Without even trying, you light up every room that you walk into. I absolutely adore your positive energy that brightens my day as soon as I see you. I am so incredibly thankful for the days we spent together in the little corner with Linus, which blossomed into an amazing friendship. I love you so so much, Allie, and I am so excited to spend the rest of the year laughing with you.
Jessie Warren, for simply making me smile
I believe that you’ve noticed that this year has been ten times more difficult than previous ones for me; my stress levels have been at an all-time high. I just want you to know how incredibly grateful I am for you always being there for me. I am so thankful for your hugs, your words of encouragement, and how you know exactly how to make me laugh. Being with you makes me forget about everything else going wrong in my life. I love you so much, and I’m so thankful that I know I have you if I ever need a pick-me-up.
Meggie Kennedy, for having so much in common with me
I absolutely love that so many aspects of our lives are similar. It’s so baffling to me that we both dance, we have the same hairstylist, we go to the same pediatrician, and that we both have family in Cincinnati. I am so thankful to be able to share those parts of our lives together, and I am so happy to have met you and found out that we are almost a mirror image of one another.
Linus Kaechele, for everything
It was hard for me to specify one thing about you that I am thankful for. You have impacted my life in more ways than I was aware of until now, and I just want you to know how thankful I am to have met you.
Thank you for driving me home from school in your red minivan. Thank you for dancing with me to our favorite songs and creating routines with top-notch choreography in the car. Thank you for making my first ever experience with the musical everything I was hoping for and more. Thank you for convincing me to try out for the Improv Team with an extremely lengthy text message. Thank you for waiting for thirty minutes outside of Crumbl Cookies at 10:00 p.m. with me. Thank you for walking down the red carpet with me. Thank you for making freshman year the best it could ever be in our little corner. Thank you for everything.
John Orr, for being my prime source of entertainment at lunch everyday
There has never been a time where you have failed to make me laugh. From seventh grade 3B with Mr. Engelsman to 1st lunch of this year, your witty remarks and overall hilarious personality is the perfect break to my school day. I am so thankful to have you in my life and make me laugh every single day.
Ella Piontkowsky, for being my favorite ginger
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around how we’ve come so far, from the combo class in preschool to drilling our pom routine in high school. You are, by far, one of the funniest people I have ever met, and I am so thankful to be able to walk laps around the second floor before enduring fourth-hour chemistry.
Megan Fox, for being my favorite chica
Whether it’s at dance or at our parent’s get-togethers, I always have an amazing time being with you. Your bubbly personality and the fact that almost every piece of clothing you own is pink are some of my favorite things about you. I love you lots, Meg, and I can’t wait to crush you in Just Dance 4 soon.
Katie Langejans, for being an amazing fellow Harry Styles fan
You have truly made an impact in how my life has played out. You were the one who introduced me to Harry Styles, and let’s just say that folded out to be quite an obsession. We bonded over our favorite songs and outfits; we even had a presentation night over Zoom dedicated to slide shows about him. You were the one who brought me with you to his concert, which ended up being one of the best nights of my life. I love you so much, Katie, and I am so happy that I have you as one of my best friends.
Emily Smith, for being my personal chauffeur ever since two days after you got your license
Though it’s been a while since you have been able to take me to or from places, I treasure all of our late-night jam sessions to the top hits of the 2000s and the twenty-minute talks in my driveway catching up on all of the drama. Emily, the past eleven years of knowing you and getting closer with you have been so amazing, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world, especially the car rides from dance practice, improv, or musical rehearsal.
The Improv Team, for taking me out of my comfort zone and showing me a great time in Chicago
Though I’ve got to say it was pretty weird being the only sophomore in a whole group of seniors, this summer was incredible because of you guys. I learned to be more vulnerable and take risks I never would have taken before. And an added bonus is that I have never laughed so hard in my entire life. And yeah, I may or may not have stepped in a puddle of pee at a train station in Chicago, but I genuinely don’t even care because of how much fun we had. I’ve got all of your backs.
The Varsity Dance Team, for pushing me to become a better dancer every day
Having not danced in a studio for the first time in ten years, it was a weird feeling to not have a team to be a part of in the beginning of freshman year. Now, I could never be more thankful for the dance team. You guys are so fun to be around, and you have taught me so much about how to work together with people and to be an all-around better person. I love all of you so much, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of the season with you guys.
Jazzae and Crystal, you are two of the best coaches I’ve ever had. Ever since I joined the dance team, you have taught me about perseverance and determination. Though I am still a work in progress, I have grown so much as a dancer and a human being thanks to you. You are such amazing coaches who will lead us to success, and I will be eternally grateful for all you guys have done for us.
The editors of TCT, for working their absolute hardest, all while being extremely supportive
Seeing the three of you incredible people working strenuously to edit the insane amount of stories in pending amazes me. You guys are always there for me, no matter if I am having a problem with a story I am writing or an existential crisis. You are all such an inspiration to me and everyone else on staff, and the site would not be where it is today without your drive and passion.
Nat, I am so happy that we’ve gotten the opportunity to become closer. You are such an amazing human, and I enjoy every second I spend with you, whether you are driving me home from school with Logan and Charlie in the back or downtown to get boba. I love screaming out our favorite songs in the car together, no matter if it’s in the red minivan or the 2008 red Cadillac. Thank you so much for answering my phone calls late at night of me crying over being short on time for a story or over my Spotify shutting down when I was trying to listen to Red (Taylor’s Version). I love you endlessly, and I am so thankful to have you in my life.
Emma, I am eternally grateful to be friends with you. You are incredibly kind and always understanding, and I feel like I can tell you anything. Your sweet disposition and your contagious laugh are two of the many aspects of your personality that I absolutely adore. I love to come to you for advice, to complain, or simply for a hug. I hope you realize how much I appreciate you for all that you do for the site, and for being such an amazing friend and human being. I absolutely adore you, and I cannot wait to see where the rest of the year takes us.
Avery, I absolutely love being able to see you every day, both in sixth hour for TCT and at dance. You are unquestionably one of the funniest people I know, always making me laugh during dance team practices, especially when you have me do my impersonation of Vector dancing from Despicable Me. You are always so fun to be around, and I am so thankful that I was able to meet you.