Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Golden Weekend, with a Lesson on the Side

This week was an exciting week!  Because of Team USA, and more specifically, because of one of our sophomore students, I've renewed my love of hockey.  Along with that, I've done some reflecting on parenting, and on handling whatever happens to me in life, and on realizing that you don't always get answers for the questions you have.
Brody Roybal
Image courtesy of
I work in a school district that has two campuses.  At one time (when I attended the school), the district was most definitely divided.  Different mascots (Eagles and Knights), different school colors (maroon/white and blue/gold).  A totally different culture.  Now, we are all one district, one mascot (Eagles), one school color combo (blue/gold) and a united culture. So it wasn't surprising that the east campus was cheering on one of our students from the west campus when he went to the 2014 Sochi Paralympics to compete in Ice Sledge Hockey.  Brody Roybal is a 15 year old sophomore, and he is a forward on Team USA. They won the gold on Saturday.  Very exciting games!!

I've been thinking a lot about Brody's parents lately.  I don't know them.  I only know what I know from the interviews I've seen and read.  But I am in awe of these parents.  You see, Brody was born without legs.  They could have easily felt cheated, with a chip on their shoulder, angry that they didn't know about it even after ultrasounds.  Instead, Brody's dad admits to pushing him "pretty hard sometimes" to be independent.  His mom remembers thinking he looked like the Peanuts character, Pigpen, when Brody was playing local baseball.
Edited cartoon from

The point I'm trying to make is that they realized the reality of Brody not having legs but decided that they wouldn't treat their son any differently than any other parent offering their kid opportunities.  Some day, I'd like to meet Michelle and Robert Roybal.  I'd like to shake their hands and tell them that they are as awesome as their son.
Brody's Mom - Spelling out USA
Some people come into your life for a reason.  Whether or not I get to congratulate that gold medal winner in person, I would like him to know that he and his parents have changed my outlook on life.  

A final note: (Removed on advisement.)  


Ms. A said...

Goodness gracious, I'm reading and cheering for Brody and then you drop the bombshell about your friend's son. Peggy, that's two diametrically opposed feelings in one post. That's like getting the wind knocked out of you.

Congratulations to Brody and my thoughts and prayers to your friend, her family and all that will mourn the loss of her son.

Peggy K said...

You think I should take that last paragraph out??