Today Gabe came home and plopped down on the end of my bed (I have been WAY sick-laying in bed feeling sorry for myself). I asked him how school went today. He paused and said, "Well, it was OK." I took his pause as a parenting cue for a follow up question. "What happened?" I casually asked (I try to play it cool and not let on that I am dying for more info.)
Now for those who don't know Gabe, he is a worker. The kid never quits and gives most tasks-especially physical ones-his very best effort. He plays his hardest until the end of every game even if his team has no hope of winning. OK, back to the foot of my bed.
He told me that in school today they ran a relay race (they have been doing various track events on the last several days and he has done quite well). Pause. "Uh, huh." I calmly nodded while trying to keep minimal eye contact so I wouldn't spook him. "Well Mom, my team ran the 4X100 and we came in dead last." I grunted, "Mm...
I was instantly elated but continued to be cool as a cucumber. I nonchalantly followed up with a "So did he get assigned to your team because you're all good runners?" "No, we picked our own teams." This is where I tried not to let any tears squeek out of my eyes. I couldn't resist the whole follow-up conversation of how good it feels to sometimes lose when you are helping someone that is "Special"
He hopped up off of my bed--on to bigger and better things I am sure. I managed to tell him I was proud of him as he walked out the door. I could hear the smile on his face as he replied, "Thanks, Mom." from the hall.
Special. Ya. I think so.