When Colin started Karate a year and a half ago, he met a young man named Robbie who was also in class with his brother Anthony. We noticed that Robbie started looking out for Colin and always made a point to seek him out to say hi, or to tell him he did a good job, or even to redirect him in class to make sure he was doing the right thing.
Colin was really excited to get invited to Robbie's birthday party and then over the summer the karate school hosted a BBQ where Colin got to spend time Robbie. It was nice for Chris and I because the two of them played together almost the entire time we were there. Robbie really looked out for Colin and on the flipside, Colin really enjoyed spending time with him.
After awhile, Robbie and his brother tested into the next belts and ended up in a different class for quite a few months. Colin and Robbie would occasionally cross paths when their classes butted up against each other. We would see them at different events and Robbie always made sure he went right up to Colin to say hi and give him a hug or a high five.
Robbie has just been one of those kids that warms our heart and gives us hope for Colin. After sharing our story through conversation with his mom and through this blog about what we feel is an appropriate education for Colin, his mom asked him to say a prayer for Colin that he could stay in what we think is the best fit for him. Robbie asked her some questions about why they wanted to move Colin and then disappeared for a bit. When Robbie's mom sent me a message with the story, and then subsequently the following letter he wrote, I started crying one of those ugly cries...it took me by surprise in one of the most inspiring ways.
In a fight that often feels very lonely, to receive a letter written like this from a young child, means more than I could possibly put into words. Robbie is truly a special person and we are so lucky he has become a friend of Colin's. If you notice how he signs his letter, Robbie has an understanding of the benefit and value that people with disabilities have in this world. I have said this many times before, but I truly wish adults could follow the lead that many children demonstrate when it comes to friendships and belonging.
We all want what's best for our kids and it's amazing how a hand written letter from a 4th grader puts that into perspective. At a time when we needed this the most, the letter reminded us of why this fight is so worth it, and it came from a child who knows what's best for Colin too. We are so thankful for Robbie and his family....