Kids These Days!

By A Proud Mom • March 14, 2015

My daughter (12 yo, 7th grade) is on the cross country team at her middle school. As with any sport, the cross country team has its "stars" as well as its less talented athletes. The top runners for the boys are Ethan, Michael (8th grade) and Kenji (7th grade.) Yesterday was the first track meet of the season, and when she got home, my daughter told me a story that made me want to cry.

According to my daughter, one of the new 6th graders is a boy named Albert. He is apparently "a little pudgy," pretty nerdy, and has never played any organized sports before. The 6th graders ran last, 3 laps around the perimeter of the school. Very early in the race, Albert was dead last. All of the other racers lapped him so that they were finishing the race when he was just finishing his second lap. When Albert saw the other kids finishing, he thought he was almost finished, too. When he realized that he had another whole lap left to run, the poor kid broke down and started crying.

When Ethan, Michael, and Kenji saw this out of shape, pudgy nerd break down in the middle of the field, they didn't even pause. All three of them immediately went out on the field to run Albert's last lap with him. This is against the rules in cross country, but not one person from the other teams protested. Instead of leaving (since all of their athletes had finished) both other teams hung around and waited for Albert to finish. When he finally crossed the finish line, all three schools cheered for him.

After my daughter told me this sweet story I said, "I hope Albert doesn't quit the team after this." She replied, "No way. We won't let him quit! He'll get better, he just needs a little help."

And that is why I love middle schoolers.

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