Monday, January 18, 2010

Come on in, the water is freezing

Sorry, this post should have gone in yesterday but it wouldn't load - I know many of you were left unfulfilled.

I was talking to my son last night as I was putting him to bed and asking him what he knew about Martin Luther King Jr. Surprisingly, for a 3rd grader he knew quite a lot. I love that his generation is so completely baffled by the concept of racism - I'm not saying it is a dead issue, but it seems that each succeeding generation realizes Dr. King's dream a little more than the last.

As I was talking to him about the fight for desegregation his mind could not grasp the idea that parents and teachers (adults) would be screaming at little children trying to go to school. "Where were the Christians?" he asked. How do you tell a 9-year-old that they were right there behind the National Guard screaming obscenities along with the others. I know that racial issues tend to be politicized today but if we can all put politics aside, today is a day to embrace the fact that in our not-so-distant past some atrocious things were done by one group of people to another for no other reason than the pigmentation of their skin. The dream isn't accomplished but it is improving.

Now, one final comment on Dr. King. My son asked a very profound question, for which I did not have a good answer. He said, "Dad, if Dr. King thought education was so important, why are we out of school today?" Ah, the wisdom of kids.

What a good weekend. Busy but great. This was a soccer tournament/basketball weekend so my wife and I were very busy with kids stuff. I also spent the day on Friday running numbers from 2009 and seeing that, while we have definite room for improvement, it was a good year overall. I am excited to see what 2010 will do - the initial numbers are looking good.

As I mentioned last week, in 2 weeks I am paticipating in the Polar Bear Plunge. This is a fundraiser for Special Olympics. I have done this event for 3 years and each year I reach mid-January and start to wonder why I am agreeing to jump into water that is so cold they have to break the ice to clear a section of clear water for us. Then I remember the reason why I and hundreds of other do it - the kids.

I am so proud to belong to an organization (the AGD) that has a relationship with Special Olympics. If you have not taken the opportunity to work with those special people, you are really missing out. This is now a worldwide organization that truly embraces sport for sports sake.

I wonder many times as a parent of 3 healthy, athletically gifted children, how different my life would be if my children were not able to partcipate in sports. To see them succeed, set a goal and accomplish it - what a privilege. Parental pride, often-times bordering on hubris.

Special Olympics provides that opportunity to a group of parents that would not otherwise have that chance. The AGD provides dental care at the Special Olympics, and I believe that is one of the best outreaches we can do. I am doing my little part by throwing my overweight body into cold water for a few seconds and watching my kids laugh at me.

If you would like to learn more about the plunge, click here.

Thanks again for the privilege of letting me share my voices with you at the start of each week. I'm going to let them go to bed now.

Have a great week.


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