Monday, November 26, 2012
Nachas Part II
Last week, just before his younger brother sang his way into the hearts of dozens (see post from last week!) my older son was quietly making nachas of his own.
Rob and his friend G came to volunteer at Friedman Place, where I've worked as a fundraiser since April. Friedman Place is a residence for 81 adults who are blind or visually impaired.
Rob and G had created a program for residents called Sports Night, something we had never tried before. They structured it like a talk radio show-- two guys dishing on sports, with the participants asking questions. They had notes and stats on the Bulls without Derrick, the Bears lousy offensive line, and the NHL lockout. They also prepared long lists of trivia questions to try and get everyone involved.
Rob asked me a lot of questions about Friedman Place residents. He wanted to know if they had always been blind, and how they "watched" sports. He wanted them to have fun, and he asked what sports might be particularly interesting to them. I answered what I could. There was a lot I didn't know.
Rob and G scheduled their event on the evening of our Board of Directors meeting which I would be attending, and my boss generously invited them to join the board for dinner in advance of Sports Night.
G was running late, so when Rob arrived I gave him a quick tour. I showed him our aviary in the lobby where the birds sing to our residents and guests, and our library with braille books. One of our residents brought us into the computer room and showed us how the talking computer program tells him all the scores from the ESPN website.
I was surprised that Rob so readily agreed to dinner with the board members. I thought he might find it intimidating but he was happy for the free meal. I knew the board members would be friendly to Rob, but I also knew they'd be curious. For the last 23 years, I've spent most of my time working on being a good mother. If someone wants to know if I do good work, meeting my son is a pretty good test.
Lucky for me, Rob is wonderful. He is smart and well-spoken. He is kind and helpful. He looks you in the eye and is genuinely interested in what you have to say. If you look in the dictionary under "Fine Young Man" you would see his picture. Did I mention that he is handsome?
I graciously accepted many rave reviews from the board members and my colleagues. This was different than when my son hit a home run or sang a song. I don't take any credit for their talents. But these compliments were because Rob was a mensch, and I take lots of the credit for that.
After dinner, the boys shared their sports insights with a group of blind adults. One person wanted to talk about bowling. Another reminisced about Kiki Cuyler who played for the Cubs in the 1920's. Two people fell asleep.
It was a huge success.