It isn’t very often in today’s society that people are often surprised. With the ubiquity of cameras, cell phones, and social media, little is hidden. However, today, our entire family was caught off guard and totally surprised in a most wonderful way.
As I’ve mentioned previously, my oldest son has been adopted by the Wake Forest University baseball team through a fantastic program called Team IMPACT. He is introduced as a member — often times as an assistant coach — of the team. This has been an amazing experience which I’ve often blogged about here. It has provided E opportunities that have been amazing. He loves spending time with the members of the team on and off the field. E and the coach often text back and forth just to check in. I cannot say enough positive about this school, its baseball team, and the experience we’ve had with Team IMPACT.
But today may have taken the cake. Soon after we arrived home from school today a package arrived at our house. E got it off the porch and saw his name on it with the return address of the college. It was a large cardboard box, but it was light. E was so excited wondering what might be in the box. He called his dad and I into the living room so we could watch him open the box.
Opening the flaps of the box, we saw black. At first I thought it looked like a book bag, but no…..it was too bulky. Then, I thought it might be a team bat bag…….no, again, wrong shape. As E pulled it out of the box, it became apparent that it was a jacket…..a wool jacket…..with leather sleeves. He put it on and I saw the gold WF letters. It was a letter jacket for elite athletes at the university.
Here in his hands was a jacket earned by athletes. E had earned his letter as a member of the college baseball team. I got out my old high school letter jacket and showed E as his dad and I explained to him the significance of a letter jacket.
With his connective tissue disorder, E will likely never earn a high school or college letter. This had not occurred to me before. Such a rite of passage for many young athletes. I had not once thought about how this would be something he would likely miss out on in future years. Being a high school letterman may be an exclusive club, but being a college letterman when you’re 13?! It doesn’t get more exclusive than that!
I have so very much to be thankful for. Many times we are bombarded by the cruelty, insensitivity, and egotistical tendencies in humans. However, I am lucky enough to witness everyday kindness, compassion, and generosity. This was yet another example.