Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Boy I Know

The little boy that I know is confident, happy and very sure of himself.

But ... on this one night, right before he went to bed, I went to him and told him that his father and I would be going to his school the following morning, early, to see the school's flag ceremony. These ceremonies are held at his school, once every couple of months, and it is in these ceremonies where children from each class in the school, are chosen, for awards. These awards are called The Pillar Of Character Awards (Trustworthiness, Citizenship, Caring, Fairness, Responsibility & Respect). When I told my son that we would be attending the ceremony - he began to cry.

"I don't know why you're going," he sobbed.

Sitting down on the edge of his bed, I said, "Daddy and I want to go - we haven't been to a flag ceremony in a while."

He continued to cry. "I'm not going to win. I never win," tears were streaming down his face. "I haven't won in five years. There's always someone better than me," he was very sad.

I tried to console him, but he was inconsolible. "Maybe this time you will win. And even if you don't win, we still want to be there - to recognize everyone else that will - right?"

I had never heard him voice concern, let alone sadness, over not having ever won one of these awards before. I was sad for my sweet son.

But I left him, eventually, and he settled down and went to sleep. I was hurting for him, but at the same time I was very happy. For ... I knew ... he would receive an award the next day.

His teacher had phoned me and asked that we make sure that we attended the ceremony - as, Little Billy had been chosen from his class, to receive an award.

So, we went and we saw and we were proud. He was proud. He could not have been more proud. It was a fine moment for our sweet boy.

Walking out of the ceremony with my son, a little boy walks up behind us. He is a Downs Syndrome child and he seems to know my Little Billy.

The boy moves close to my son and tries to capture his attention - I step back and watch.

Little Billy is talking to one of his other buddies, but hears the voice of the other boy and turns to look at him. As soon as he sees this child ... he lifts his arm - without one moment of hesitation - and he puts his arm around the boy's shoulders and pulls him close.

They walk out in front of me ... my sweet Billy, with his shiney medal around his neck, and his little buddy, Jack.

He looked back in my direction - still walking with his arm around Jack's neck - and I smiled.

When Little Billy got home that afternoon from school, I asked him, "Do you know what made me most proud today?"

He smiled a great big smile, grabbed ahold of the medal around his neck and said, "My medal?"

I grabbed him into my arms and pulled him too me and squeezed him tight and said, "No. I'm proud you got that medal because I know how much you deserve it. But ... I was most proud for the kindness you showed to Jack."

He pulled back and looked me in the eyes and I could see that he was confused.

I said, "When you hugged him - in the hallway," explaining what I had seen.

My confident, happy and sure of himself boy turned and started to walk away. Before he left, he turned back and looked at me and said, "Well, he's my friend," with the sort of nonchalance you would expect from a boy that had just received an award for "Fairness".



It took 5 years for my son to get that medal, but ... on this day ... I do not believe they could have chosen a better boy!







91 comments:

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

That is such a wonderful honor for your little man, Kellan! You should be proud of him, and he should be proud of himself! I love the picture with his medal around his neck, he looks so satisfied!

My son's school give out honors for grades, First honors and Second Honors. My son is a good student and usually earns one or the other, but I don't like these awards. I think it sends a wrong message to kids. There are so many who do not make the cut (a C or below average) and you can just see their little faces and how disappointed they are when their name is not called. Not everyone is an A or B student, and I don't like how their penalized for it. I think the Pillars of Community are a much nicer way of honoring their spirit!

Lizzy

McSwain said...

What a great story! Made me cry--you have a good little man there. He looks like you, too. :)

Dawn said...

I liked what Lizzy said. The Pillars of Community awards are such a great way to honor what really is important in life. This is great that you were able to witness your son not only receive an award that obviously made him very happy, but an example of why he deserved such an award at the same time and point it out to him.

TheVasquez3 said...

OH Kellan...what a wonderful story! and what an amazing boy you have!!

tommie said...

dang.....the tears are flowing. What a great kid you are raising!

Happy friday!

multipleblessings said...

I think you're right on that one!

Julie

LunaNik said...

Tears flowing over here too...

Congrats Little Billy!!

Good job Kellan! You really should be proud of him for the person he's becoming as well as of yourself for your wonderful job as a parent!

shay said...

Congrats to your wonderful son.
He sounds amazing.

And hes such a cutie too!

Brittany said...

Congrats! What a wonderful honor, and how special that he takes the time to love his peers. I agree- he certainly deserves that medal!

bavani said...

That's so sweet Kellan. I'm such a cry baby and was tearing reading your post. It's the most sweet thing when a child like your Little Billy doesn't even really think twice that he's doing anything special for Jack. Where does that innocence go for "us" adults?
You should be so proud :)

Natalie said...

That is so touching! You have an amazing little man there!

Amy said...

That's wonderful!!
I'm so glad he got the award.

Are You Serious! said...

He deserves 10 awards for that! My sister has cerebral palsey and we would have loved for her to have such a wonderful friend! Touching story. Thanks for posting it.

kim-d said...

I completely agree with Lizzy in that the type of award it is makes it so special. The FIRST thing that was so impressive here is that Little Billy understood the importance of this particular award. There are many who would not get that! My gosh, Kellan, you would think I was Little Billy's long-lost Auntie Kim, with as proud of him as I am! I am betting that this is the first of many such awards that he will receive. The boy has a kind face; you can tell just from looking at him that he is someone very special.

the dragonfly said...

It says a lot about him that he didn't think it was anything special that he put his arm around the other boy. He seems like a very special kid. :)

Steph said...

What a great accomplishment for your son as well as for you! It shows what a wonderful parent you have been. I must admit I had a tear in my eye reading this!

Rachel said...

Oh Kellan. That's so wonderful and so sweet.
What an amazing young man you're raising, although, given what I know of you and see from your posts... I'm not surprised.

frog ponds rock... said...

Excellent.. I am proud of your young man as well...

cheers kim xx

Pam said...

What a wonderful story! It shows that he has a great mommy who taught him the value of people and being the best person you can be. You should get that medal as well. Way to go Little Billy! It is rare in this world to see kindness and compassion for someone who is a bit different- I am so happy to hear it is not gone completely.

Steph said...

What a sweet boy! Sounds like a very well deserved award and honor.

joan said...

Kellan,

The more you talk of Billy on your blog the more I am convinced this kid has a heart of gold. Great story!

pb&j in a bowl said...

The best part of this whole story, is that he didn't even realize that he did anything special, by hugging his friend. It just came naturally to him. That's awesome. What a sweet kid.

Queen of My Domain said...

I'm so proud of Little Billy also. And he's not even my son so I know your heart must be bursting with pride. What a deserving medal he received.

Shan said...

What a lovely story. That's a wonderful little man you have there.

dlyn said...

What a great day for you guys - and I agree with what was the most important award! I tagged you over on my blog this morning. I am catching up on tags, and originally, I had you on the 6 quirky things meme, but then I saw you have been tagged with that a bunch of times, so I switched you to the page 123 tag - cutting you a little slack LOL!

Ruthie said...

Boy, you sure do know how to make a grown woman cry! Yep...I'm in tears now. Congratulations to Little Billy!

Amy said...

kellan, this is such a sweet story. though i encourage my children to excel in school, being kind human beings is the most important. if only more people demonstrated that qualities that little billy showed, the world would be a nicer place.

congrats to little billy!

One Scrappy Chicklet said...

WAY TO GO LIL BILLY!!!!! What a sweet lil man and such a sweet story. I actually had a tear well up. Thank you for sharing that today.
We have a DS child/adult in our family group (my bff's daughter) and it warms my heart to see other childrens kindness.

:)
Tami

Aliki2006 said...

Look at him! So proud, so happy. I loved this tale.

Summer said...

Beautiful post!

Hetha said...

What a lovely story and sweet little boy. I am so happy for him, but I agree with you, the kindness shown to Jack is worth its weight in gold.

Badness Jones said...

Now look what you did Kellan! YOu've gone and put tears in my eyes. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara!

What a wonderful boy. Congratulations to YOU on raising such a keeper. And congratulations to Billy.

Kami said...

Simply beautiful Kellan. What a sweet boy you are raising, what a proud moment for you both!

This reminds me of a time I didn't want to go to an awards ceremony in high school and my parents made me go. They knew I was getting an award but being the stubborn teenager I was they actually had to divulge that to me in order to convince me to go. Naturally the fuss was all over a boy who so wasn't worth any fuss at all!

InTheFastLane said...

You have a right to be proud. What a good story.

bren j. said...

Awesome! Great job, Little B!

Amy said...

ok well I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes now..what a cute kid...and I'm so happy for him that he was rewarded for being such a good kid-but most of all I think it's great that it didn't even occur to him that treating someone with a disability as his equal is not something that most kids his age do...

Mary Alice said...

aagghhhhh...you ruined my mascara! What an angel you have.

Jennifer said...

What a sweet, kind boy you're raising. He's making me all teary and he's not even my son -- you're probably crying rivers of proud tears. As you should, over that sweetheart of a boy!

katie said...

awesome story! and an even more awesome-er son you have there. THOSE kind of guys are hard to come by... some girl is going to be very happy in his future!

Sheri said...

What an amazing job you both have done raising Billy. That was so heartwarming.
Have a great weekend!

Ness said...

Congrats to Billy and his parents,

The story of hugging his friend brought tears to my eyes.

May Billy be the beginning of a generation that will love people for themselves.
Ness

Janice said...

If and when I ever get a son of my own, i hope he has the same fairness as your little Billy. He is adorable, and your sweet story made me tear a little. thanks

Dad said...

I'm proud of him too. Be sure to tell him, Luv yu

Chrissy said...

What a touching story! I don't know if I'm in a weird hormonal state right now, but I got little goosebumps and watery eyes and everything. It sounds like you have a truly special little boy there.

Joanna said...

Oh Kellan that was just beautiful! What a great kid. Makes up for all that old rusty comments, huh?

Angus said...

I have a Jack...I hope that my Jack has a Billy like yours-bless him. You have every right to be so proud of your son!

Ann(ie) said...

You are making me cry. What a sweet boy. GO Billy!!!

Maria said...

Oh that was so sweet of Little Billy! Your story put tears in my eyes. You've raised a good boy there.

Holly said...

He's a great boy, but you deserve credit for teaching him to be that way!

ValleyGirl said...

Oh, you have me in tears! What a wonderful little man you have there!!

Bren said...

I got teary reading about how kind he was to Jack. And the way he's so matter of fact about it shows what kind of character he has. :)

livin with me said...

How incredibly sweet, made me all teary eyed.

And the fact that he thought nothing of what he did- that speaks even louder.

Oh, and he obviously has amazing parents who have raised him right.

Carl & Kathy Heppner said...

Thanks for sharing this touching story. You must be so proud of your boy; what great character!

Sniz said...

What a wonderful story!

HRH said...

What an amazing boy. Yeah for the recognition too. He loooks so precious with the medal around his neck.

Rachel said...

That is such a nice story and i am so happy that your son won the medal. What a handsome boy as well. Have a great weekend!

Weezee said...

You and your boy really touched my heart. Congratulations to Billy.
What a cutie he is.

E said...

Little Billy speaks to my heart. That he thought his kindness and friendship were just routine is a testament to the parenting and love he's had....
Thank you for sharing this with all of us

suchsimplepleasures said...

the thing that says it all is, he had no idea why you would be proud of him for hugging his friend! what an amazing little guy...and so gorgeous but...that isn't the point of the post...
so...congratulations to a very deserving young man!!

Eileen said...

Kellan,
This is a beautiful story. Your son has an amazing level of sensitivity within him, that sadly few boys his age have. You should be very proud, you have yourself to thank for teaching him the importance of kindness, compassion and tolerance. It is an image that will linger on in my mind for a long time.

I am so glad he won an award!! He looks very proud with that medal around this neck. He is too cute for words. What sweet and beautiful children you have.

Have a great weekend.
XOXOXO

Anna said...

Of all the things you blogged, this was my favorite post. Your son should be proud of his medal, and you must be so proud to be that boy's Mother! Congratulations to both of you!

Angela said...

Ok I think I'm just a cryer this week but this was soooo sweet. Little Billy nearly always sounds like an amazing child. And today was no exception. I'm glad you had an opportunity to see his goodness in action.

Hillary said...

What a sweet story! Congrats little Billy.

Peapodsquadmom said...

Yes, Little Billy is obviously a phenomenal young man. But you know what else? You're obviously a phenomenal mommy. You are doing a beautiful job and this post completely underscores that fact. Thank you for sharing. I hope my own children are developing this kind of character.

Angela said...

How great for your son and how proud you must be of him.
I remember when I was younger how much awards ment to me. I am sure he must be tickled pink

La La said...

I cried too!

What a sweetheart, and boy is he handsome!!!

Becky said...

Awww, Kellan, this post made me misty!

The kind of young man Billy is growing up to be speaks very well of you and your hubby and your training of him. Good job!

I love that even though you knew he would be getting the award, you didn't let on. Little Billy is going to be a real man of character.

girlymom said...

Way to go Little Billy! What a guy with a huge heart! :)

kim-d said...

Good Sunday morning, Kellan! I'm thinking of you and hope you're well. Hope to talk to you soon; call me selfish, but I miss you so much when you're not here :)!!!

sting said...

a very heartwarming post.. that's a fine son you have.. you sure did a great job bringing him up.. :-)

Val Cox said...

ahh, this post made me teary, such a good kid you're raising! Val

Leah said...

How wonderful for your son! I think it's nice that they recognize children in that way, but it does set other kids up for heartache as they can't possibly choose EVERYONE. That's a tough one! However, he sounds very very deserving and I can definately see why you'd be so proud of him! What a neat moment for you all.

Andrea said...

wow.
what an amazing son you have.

that was beautiful...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It is wonderful you wrote this down so you'll never forget this moment where his warmth and humanity shined so brilliantly.

Amy said...

You are raising an amazing little man there Kellan! Congrats to Billy on his award! I know you are so proud of him!

Irene said...

Yeah, you brought tears on over here too! As a mom of a special needs child, I know that most people and most kids feel uncomfortable around her and are not sure what to do or say, so they just ignore her.

It is so unbelievably heartwarming when someone shows them attention, and not just because they feel sorry for them, but because they just like them.

So, for anyone else who reads them, please remember that. You have no idea how much we parents appreciate those little acts of kindness.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Congrats to Billy...for much, much more than an award...a heart bursting with kindness!
Loved this as always!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Holly said...

Way to go Billy!

Crystal said...

Kellan,
I am in tears, I am so proud of him I am sobbing. I know I have said this before, but Little Billy is going to grow up and be quite a man.
This is an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Kathryn said...

I'm crying again! You always make me cry. And that dear sweet Little Billy sure does deserve that award, and much more. Well done, Billy!

Jill -Forever and Ever House said...

This is the first time that I have visited your blog. I just wanted you to know that I was so moved by this post. What a sweet little boy you have. You must be so proud of him. What a wonderful mother you are to have raised such a nice son. :o)

Cathy said...

What a perfect day. And what a sweet, sweet son you have.

baby~amore' said...

Billy is awesome and what is such a wonderful honour for him, but you are right the kindness your Billy showed Jack rates as no 1. Kellan - your children are a credit to you and your cowboy.

Jen said...

Very touching. It brought tears to my eyes!

Michelle said...

Out of the mouths of babes, huh? He didn't recognize a difference, he just knew he was his friend. I love it. And I had to laugh about the Texas hair on the next post...makes me homesick! :)

TheCynicalOptimist said...

Well played Billy.... well played.

Congrats mom, you should be proud. You painted the picture well!

Melek said...

i totally teared up at this post. you've raised a good boy :)

bermudabluez said...

What a beautiful post, Kellan! For your beautiful little boy...who looks like you by the way! You should be very proud of him!

Patti said...

AWESOMENESS Kellan! You've got me teary-eyed just reading it, I would have been a blubbering mess had I been there.
Bless Little Billy. What a special boy he is.

Karen MEG said...

What a sweetheart Billy is, well-deserved award!

Shellie said...

Kids just don't make the differences between us a big deal at all. They are SO wonderful, and they don't even know why :) I'm glad he got the medal too. Tell him congratulations.

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