I don't know a whole lot about Major League Baseball, but I do know that Jeff Francoeur, a right fielder for the Kansas City Royals, is a hell of a nice guy. There are all sorts of stories of him doing fun things during games, like delivering pizzas to fans of the opposing team, but it was his interaction with an autistic boy at a game recently that really makes him an all-star in many eyes -- particularly those of the boy's mom.
Tammy Blanchard Robertson was so moved by the time Francouer took to spend with her son and the kind way in which he treated him that she wrote a heartfelt message on the Royals' Facebook page. It has since started going viral as it's such a sweet, feel-good story.
In it she tells of how her son -- who typically doesn't like loud noises -- was actually excited for this game. When he was able to get the attention of Francoeur to sign his hat before it started, he was ecstatic ... then he tripped.
Here's part of the post in which Robertson explained what happened next:
Our son stared up at you with tears in his eyes, you took the time to coddle him, ask his name, and make him feel special.
We just wanted to say thank you for not only taking the time to come over to see our son, but for signing his hat, and posing for a picture with him. It is truly a day that our son will never forget. You are a true role model, this was a day our family will always remember.
I don't know if Francoeur had any idea that the boy was autistic, but his act of kindness clearly made a huge impact on this family, and it's something from which we can all learn -- both that going the extra mile to make someone's day is almost always worth it, and also that expressing our gratitude can mean a whole lot too.
Too often parents get flak from people for everything from our kids being too noisy in restaurants to them being too unruly on planes, and parents of autistic children often face an even greater lack of understanding from the general public for their children's behavior. So it's nice to see examples like this in which people go out of their way to make a kid's day, for no reason other than it's a nice thing to do.
What's the kindest thing someone has done for your child?
Image via CBEImagery.com/Flickr