Character on Display

After my son's first basketball scrimmage with another local squad, a young man from the opposing team approached him.

Addressing my son by him name, the kid stated:

"Great game. I have seen you play before, and you put on a clinic today--offense, defense, and ball-handling."

My son thanked him for the compliments, they exchanged pleasantries, and then both went their separate ways.

Prior to that brief chat, my son told me that he had seen the nice opposing player at school, but did not know his name since they are in different grades. He said that they had never talked before.

I had seen the "nice kid" before on several occasions. I remember that he is usually the last person to be picked up very late in the day from the school's after care program.

Often, he has the longest school day of any of the students—still garbed in his blue uniform after the sun has set when many of the other third graders are at home in their second hour of X-Box.

I also know that "nice kid" is adopted and happens to be of a different race from anyone else in the school.

Despite all of the challenges, this 8 or 9 year-old initiates conversation and offers compliments and encouragement to someone he does not even know.

They say that children reflect the character of their parents.

I was impressed.

Nicely done mom and dad.

42 comments:

Hilary said...

Indeed. He sounds like a great adult in the making.

Brian Miller said...

nice. he sounds like a pretty cool kid...and rising about our differences and challenges...that is what its all about eh

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Don't you wish all kids were stand-up like that. Sounds like your son is doing pretty good at basketball.

Herding Cats said...

"They say that children reflect the character of their parents."

My nicest, most polite students have the nicest, most polite parents. It's so true!

Matthew Rush said...

This is what I love about you Slam.

Wonderful point, beautiful post.

There is so much wrong with society and parenting these days that it is easy to get wrapped up in frustration and complain about it all. Instead you choose to highlight something that is right with the world ... and I applaud you for it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love it when children make the parents proud. Parents are teaching their children less and less on how to be good adults. Thanks for sharing this story.
CD

Mikalee Byerman said...

Wow ... when I began reading, I was thinking your son must be 15ish given the caliber and quality of the comment. But to see that remark coming from an 8-9 year old? Truly special.

There is no better compliment that I can receive than someone telling me how respectful, well mannered and polite my children are. That truly is the ultimate reflection of parenting, IMO.

Great post. Made me feel warm and fuzzy! :)

Shannon said...

I love this post! He sounds like a great kid! You should invite him over for dinner! ;)

hot girl said...

nice post.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
Many times it comes down to as much "NUTURE" as it does "NATURE" when raising a child.
(adopted or otherwise)

Good story about a good young adult.

Stay warm out there.

Lydia K said...

Yes, nicely done. That just warms my heart. I wish there were more of that going around than bullying!

Mommy Lisa said...

I wonder if his parents know how others see their son. I would love it if people told me nice things like that!

Lt said...

Nicely done, indeed.

maggsworld said...

Sounds like a child who has learned adult lessons. A very special child. Sounds like a nice friend for your son. PArents very quickly get slammed for their parenting. Occasionally a few words of encouragement is all it needs. Find a way to compliment the parents. They might need to hear it. Directly.

carma said...

well, I teared up reading that. What a good example he is setting for all the students!

Erin said...

Fan.tastic. story. Thanks for sharing.

Diane said...

Wonderful story to share and inspire us as parents to strive a little higher. :O)

joanny said...

More then impressive, there are too few adults who act from authenticity, I hope this young one stays that way.

Thanks for sharing such a great story.

joanny

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Awe :) Sounds like a really sweet kid. You should treat him and your son to an ice cream next time you see him!

Entre Nous said...

Aw, hope the other kids follow suit. A joy to read of your noticing as well, lets hope others follow suit :}

torn blazer said...

Nice..that makes me feel good

Sean

Dan said...

That was one of the great joys of parenthood - meeting really exceptional kids (and parents).

Teaches one that good kids happen under all conditions- and that we all too often don't credit them for how good they are.

Kristin said...

What a sweetie. That is so nice to hear!

Adie said...

Man I am a baby today, so many great aspects to this story, but I can't help but be sad that he has such a long day at school. What a remarkable young man he sounds like though! And a very articulate compliment for someone so young! WOW!

ladyfi said...

That's one wonderful kid!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

This is so poignant and SUCH a lovely way to present this little boy. Seriously you anonymously yet so artistically gave me a great description of someone who sounds like he will go far in life. I love these little real life stories you throw in, they are always so well written in a very abstract way. Thanks :)

malone8 said...

Thanks for this one Slam.

I have a close friend who adopted a son of color at birth. He will be 16 in Jan. and is a blessing to all.

kcinnova said...

Wow, only in elementary school? What an impressive human being! As a parent, I'd want to have my son spend time with this young man, and I'd want to be sure to compliment his parents as well.

J. J. in Phila said...

Very nice story. He sounds like a good guy.

Cricket said...

Great catch and thanks for sharing it.

Parenting is a thankless job. So often it only gets noticed when things go wrong. Thanks for noticing, and sharing, something that went right on any number of levels.

I'm reminded of something from one of Robert Fulghum's essays. I may be paraphrasing, but not by much:

Who says people are no damn good? What kind of talk is that?

Congratulations on your potw.

aconnectiontomyheart said...

Lovely SD, the kid spreads cheer not only to you, but to so many of us - just thinking about his demeanor and attitude, inspires me.. Thanks for taking note and also sharing the experience with us!

Linda said...

It's not always very rewarding to be a "good kid." Thanks for noticing this boy's character and sharing it with your readers. Maybe you can also find some ways to encourage the young man and his parents directly.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, that is a good kid, and still so young too. High five to his parents.

Congrats on your POTW and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Cherrs, jj

Kristen @ Motherese said...

After I read your first sentence, I was worried that this was going to be a story about a badly behaved athlete or athlete's parents. That seems par for the course these days. How refreshing to hear about a young gentleman-in-training. Good for him (and good for your son for putting on such a show!).

Candice said...

Wow, that is impressive. We need more of that and less bullying!! Sorry I haven't been commenting much....now everyone knows why. Mama hasn't been feeling well ;)

LisaF said...

Definite kudos to mom and dad. Another kid might place blame on his circumstance and use it as an excuse to behave otherwise. Kinda gives you glimmer of hope for the next generation.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
This is just wonderful. Something good to know and read!
Ann T.

Lori said...

I really enjoy hearing stories like this because so often we hear stories of kids acting badly. There are a lot of great kids out there and it's really neat that you caught this. Congratulations on POTW at Hilarys!

jodeeluna said...

I'm thoroughly impressed by any third grader who would offer such mature and encouraging remarks. WOW! I rarely hear this kind of thing from my 7th and 8th grade students. I agree with you, his parents did a fantastic job!

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

I am certain they are reaping the benefits of raising a good child. I'm so glad to hear stories like these when there are often too many discouraging stories out there. We need to hear about more of these. It restores faith in mankind.

terri said...

It's always a treat when you get to meet a kid who surprises you that way. Hopefully his positive nature and generous spirit have a contagious effect on the kids around him.

James (SeattleDad) said...

That's awesome man, and lends great perspective. Thanks for sharing.