It is a year of high school lasts for Alex, some welcome, some bittersweet and some will be truly missed. Alex’s experience as the Manager of the High School football team is the latter. For the last three falls Alex has been respected, accepted and an important part of a sports team. She is honored at the home games, noted on the program and acknowledged by the boys on and off the field. A far cry from the experience Alex has had for the last three years as an outcast on the girls’ basketball team.
This did not happen by mistake, it happened because the coach taught this lesson of inclusion to his entire team. It is part of the culture of the team, in fact this is how a good team behaves, and every individual is recognized for the gifts they bring to the team, not penalized for weaknesses. This team and these coaches are an example to all of us.
Alex sat in the middle of this table surrounded by eight proud seniors celebrating their personal successes as members of winning football team. She smiled from ear to ear for an hour and a half, the happiest I have seen her in a long time.
This was not one of my lasts of Alex’s high school career, it was a first. The first of many times I will be crying with pride and joy as Alex’s leaves high school behind and prepares to make her way into the world. I am bursting with pride, and the memory of Alex’s smile will get me through some of the rough days that promise to lie ahead.