I think I owe my blog readers some moments of joy from time to time, especially when so much of my blog has been focused on the serious, or the morose, or the challenging side of parenting special needs children. Imagine my delight a couple of days ago when I opened up the paper lying on our front step (we recently resubscribed to our community's newspaper) and saw front and center on the sports page (a page I rarely read) an article complete with large picture of our son Ricardo. (He's the one on the bottom, in case you didn't figure it out based on the origins of his name).
Midway through the article, which reports on the entire wrestling tournament, is this quote from Jim Rueda, the Free Press Sports editor:
One of the bright spots for East was Ricardo Fletcher, who took on Class AAA's ninth-ranked Alex Thompson at 119 pounds and gave the Scarlet all he could handle. The bout was tied at 2-2 after two periods before Thompson pulled away to an 8-2 victory.
What the article doesn't say -- and the writer couldn't have known -- is just how incredible this really is. In the Fall of 2007 Ricardo began the school year as a sixth grader, an old sixth grader, but one none the less. He has only been in the USA since he was ten (he just recently turned fifteen), so his English skills have been a challenge; hence his grade placement. After two months in sixth grade, though, we were informed that he was "too old" to be in sixth grade and would have to jump up to seventh grade. So in the Fall of 2007 he left sixth grade, became a seventh grader, and within less than a month decided to wrestle. He had not wrestled before, had no training or coaching previously, but did well enough that within a couple of weeks he was wrestling varsity. This year as an eighth grader he has done very well, and this is the second time in the season he has grabbed a sports front page picture and write-up.
With many of the challenges our children have presented us over the years, it is nice occasionally to relax in the joy of seeing one of our kids succeed. And Ricardo is the kind of kid who deserves to succeed. He is bright and respectful and almost always does what he is asked to do in the family without argumentation.
For just a moment I am experiencing joy, and thanking God for it!