Despite the ugly voice, I am thrilled. This is the guy I know. The one who connects with football friends every chance he gets. The one who love, love, loves to work out.
"Sure, buddy. Where is he working out?" I ask.
"With some trainer," says my son, "It's a speed camp. You have to pay."
An hour or so later, I sit with another mom, watching him run up a hill. It's a steep hill. They run the hill. Rest a few seconds. Trot back down. Run up backwards. Rest a few seconds. Trot back down. Over and over and over again. One kid throws up in the gutter.
For the first two or three heats, my guy is at the front of the pack. After that he drops farther back. Even so, he is carrying himself in the way that I usually see only on the football field. Big. Confident. Shoulders squared. Light on his feet.
Afterwards, he talks to the coach, who calls him Big Man. He smiles, big enough so that I can see his dimple. His eyes sparkle. He asks if he can go two or three times a week to work out with R and this coach.
We have had a rough couple of months- hating school and not wanting to go. His dreams have seemed far away. Almost unreachable.
Today, it was so good to see this guy.
Today, it was so good to hope.