Walker's dad took him to be fitted for a tuxedo last night. He has been invited to attend a celebration of the volunteer efforts of John and Lilly Kingsley who have been the backbone of the Special Olympics program in Memphis for many, many years. Their son, John, is a magnificent athlete, having won numerous medals at an international level. They had dreamed of having a big dress up affair for their participants for a long time, and an equally devoted bunch of volunteers have organized an elegant dinner and dance at a fancy hotel.
I think Walker will enjoy the event, and we've bought tickets too so we can participate in honoring the Kingsleys.
The Kingsleys are truly special people. Their whole family has participated as coaches and chaperones through the years. Lilly is legally blind, and John has fought cancer for quite some time, but they have always been there, every Wednesday night for practice, and at every event.
Walker no longer competes in Special Olympics, partly due to time constraints with his job, and partly because he was never very enthusiastic about group sports. Other than competing in swimming, he spent most of his evenings with Special Olympics roller skating alone in the church gym where they met. He never talked much about it, but that's what we'd find him doing when we picked him up.
When his swim coach retired, Walker did too, saying that he was too tired after work. I suspect that the hours interfered with his TV watching too, but just let that slide.
I would probably step in if I noticed him gaining weight, but his figure is one that the other guys in my family envy, so I count on him getting his exercise lifting grocery bags all day. Seems to work.
I hope I'll always recognize those who have made a difference in my children's lives, and as a result in my life. I hope there will always be people like The Kingsleys that care enough to make things happen. I hope Walker asks someone to dance and enjoys being all dressed up and we enjoy seeing him happy, even if it entails putting on a tux and dress shoes.