First, I thought Thursday, September 24 was National Make a Difference Day. It's not. Saturday, October 24 is the day. Even better, because it gives us an extra month to prepare.
Second, I'm new to the whole "Soccer Mom" thing.
After a year of Matthew asking to play soccer, we finally decided to let him hang up his goggles for a shiny new pair of Adidas cleats. There's a whole indoctrination period for new parents, including things such as... uniforms, shin guards, socks, snack captains, team captains, and victory tunnels.
And, while I might be new to the age old norms proudly shared by veteran soccer moms around the country, I an no novice to the concept of shine.
Coach Mo shines and it was obvious from the start. That's the thing about people who shine - they radiate excellence. They hit the scene full throttle, letting you know immediately the experience you are about to have is different... better... than accepted practice. Such has been the case since Matthew began playing soccer five weeks ago.
Practices are filled with thoughtful soccer drills, borrowed from his continued experience in a semi-pro league. Focused on developing the talent of our five year olds, Coach Mo swiftly moves the boys around the field teaching them skills and strategy. My husband sits on the side lines admiring Coach Mo's patience, while I savor his sheer enthusiasm and the sense of purpose with which he conducts weekly practices.
That's the thing. Coach Mo has a full time job. Despite his responsibilities to work, family, and kids, he shows up three times a week ready to give 100% of himself to Matthew and his nine teammates. From laminated team rosters and schedules, to complimentary names printed on the back of each boys jersey, to the seriousness (and compassion) with which he coaches these young boys, Coach Mo stands out from the other 30+ coaches in the league.
This week, in preparation of next month's National Make a Difference Day, Matthew and I will secretly slip one of Highlowaha's infamous Shine shirts into Coach Mo's gym bag. His shirt will be rolled, slipped into a long paper bag labeled, "Shine" on the front, and with space on the back to write a note.
I suspect he'll love the shirt, but I expect it will be the anonymously written note accompanying the shirt that will mean the most to Coach Mo. People who shine will shine regardless of whether or not they get a shirt or a note telling them so. But, knowing someone noticed your commitment to going the extra mile just flat out feels good.
And, if you can do all that for just $10.00, why not?
So, you have a month (not just four days) to plan and scheme who you will present with an inaugural "Shine" shirt in honor of National Make a Difference Day. Yours will also come packaged in a brown bag, a shine sticker on front, and a convenient space for you to write a note on back.
Will it be a friend, a colleague, your aerobic instructor, the mailman who faithfully visits your house, the bank teller at your local bank, or better yet.. the barista at your local Starbucks? Will it be your child's teacher, the crossing guard at his school, the babysitter, the librarian, the person who cuts your hair, or someone you've been admiring from afar?
We've started a Rayvolution. One million shirts by 2013, because you know like I know, to make the world we live in a better... brighter place we must take time to stop, recognize, and to encourage excellence.
What size should I set aside for you and who will yours go to? Tell me in the comment section or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signing off until tomorrow...