It has been a difficult couple of years for my son. Many things have happened beyond his control, and he has also made some poor life choices. Since spring, he seems to be improving by challenging himself and shining his light, but he has terrible social anxiety, so sometimes, this is hard for him. Because of this, I was delighted when he decided to join the cross country team at school, because he needs a sport on his record for his college applications, but mainly because he was putting himself out there to try something new.
Monday was the first day of conditioning, and he was nervous that he would be the slowest or weakest person on the team. (He has been running every night, and pushing himself, but years of inactivity can't be erased all at once.) Sure enough, he ran with the pack for a mile or so, then began to fall behind. Well, when his friend Dan, who is a star on the team, realized what was happening, he fell back and ran with my son, to keep him company and encourage him. For a long time, I have known that Dan was a really nice kid, but wow...that is really some compassion and good friendship, not to mention the sign of a being a great teammate.
Dan's act of kindness means more than he will probably ever know. Both to the boy he helped to spur on, and to that boy's mother. The two boys have been hanging out quite a bit this summer, and I want to encourage that. Also, one of these days I want to tell his parents what a fantastic kid they raised.