I’ve got a post today that has nothing to do with my writing or my books … or anybody’s writing or books for that matter. I tried, at first, to tie it all together, but about half way through it felt forced, contrived. So I’m just going to go for it and tell it like it is. Today’s post is an amazing, inspirational story about a real life hero. He has been going about his real life heroics in a quiet way, seeking neither praise nor glory. Nothing more than support for his cause.
Oh yeah – did I mention that this real-life hero is only fifteen years old?
Let me give you a bit of context. In my other life, I’m a crazy hockey mom. I know, it’s hard to picture. But I can promise you with hand on heart that two or three times a week I am up in the stands of our local hockey rink, hollering like a mad woman at a bunch of nine-year-olds.
I’ve never been a hockey fan until my son started playing. To be honest, I am not interested in the NHL. I couldn’t care less when P.K. Subban was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens or that Phil Kessel was traded from the Leafs or who the fantasy top 25 goalies are. But when it’s a bunch of kids, the story changes. There is something about the camaraderie that those little guys and girls develop when they’re part of a team. When they make that perfect pass, or when that one winger who hasn’t scored a goal all season puts it “top shelf” or “bar down” … or whatever those phrases are that I hear the crazy hockey dads bellowing beside me in the stands.
Sigh, there’s nothing like it!
Unfortunately, there is a … less-than-rosy side, shall we say, to hockey which is alive and well where I’m from. Hockey can be cliquish. Kids band into packs and ridicule those they deem “not good enough.” Have you seen The Mighty Ducks? If you remember The Hawks, then you’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’s like – yes, that stuff actually happens.
This is the backdrop for Caleb’s story.
When Caleb returned to school in the fall of 2015, he had not visited the barber in a few months. After a summer-full of sun and fun, his locks were getting a little shaggy. You would think that, with hockey hair being such an iconic image of the sport we Canadians love so much, Caleb’s lengthening strands wouldn’t have been much of a talking point. You would think…
Not so, apparently. A handful of Caleb’s classmates who also play hockey decided to pick on Caleb for his hair. “Girls can’t play hockey,” they’d taunt. Or, “Man, your team must be desperate for players if they’re letting GIRLS in!”
Now, in most cases, this might send another youngster off to the barber to get that mane taken care of post haste. But not Caleb. No sir! He decided that he was going to get back at his bullies in a way that can only be labeled as hometown heroic:
He was going to grow his hair even longer, fund-raise, and then cut it all off and donate it to make wigs for cancer patients. There will be an assembly at Caleb’s school, where all of his classmates will be there to cheer him on – including those who picked on him in the first place.
Real Life Heroes: 1, Bullies: 0!
Yes, this really happened. This is a real event and a real person. I’m not just making it up to have something to say on my blog! If you don’t believe me, check out his website: Show You Care Grow Your Hair
Caleb’s hair will be long enough this April. His story has gotten so much attention in our little corner of the world that the local media has picked it up. He’s done a radio interview, been profiled on the League Blog, and the newspaper is coming out for the big event.
So, like I said, this post has nothing to do with writing. I just really wanted to share it, and I can only hope, as a mom, that my son grows up to be just like Caleb!