A heartwarming holiday story to start off your weekend

Things are very different from when they were when I blogged yesterday.

When we all woke up this morning, on Dec. 6, we awoke in a world where Carly Rae Jepsen is now a Grammy nominated artist. With that, Carly Rae, who was singing in a Canadian burlesque club at this exact point in time one year ago, is now lumped together with the world’s great award-winning artists, like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Billy Joel.

Add Carly Rae Jepsen to that list.

Carly Rae GrammyCarly Rae Grammy2


Carly Rae Grammy.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Jepsen will be front and center during the most prestigious ceremony our nation’s music industry has to offer, and who knows, maybe she’ll win.

I can’t hate though, she’s too adorable.

Though it’s pretty hard to believe that she’s actually just a few years away from being 30 years old. It really doesn’t seem possible. Carly Rae Jepsen looks like one of those girls you stare at while at the mall, and you never want to find out how old she is because you don’t want to feel ridiculously sleazy about it.

I get that same feeling whenever I look at Carly Rae. And then I remember that she’s actually two years older than me.

And to the dismay of all the Beliebers and Directioners out there, the teeny bop sensations were both excluded from the nominations. Sorry Justin, you may not have a Grammy, but at least you have 35 million Twitter followers.

But let’s move on from the Grammys.

I’d like to take a minute to bring a truly heartwarming, good-feeling story to light. It’s actually an article I read a couple of days ago, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to me to blog about it until now.

I think it’s because we’ve all been trained to seek out negative news, myself included. Whenever a story goes viral these days, it’s usually because of its negative connotations. But every now and then, a story comes along that makes you feel good inside.

Like this one. 

The setting is Tennessee and our star players are middle schoolers Justin Kievit and Jared Stevens.

The two kids attend different schools, and during a wrestling match between said schools, the two kids wrestled each other and Stevens won the match via pinfall.

So what makes this story so extraordinary? Jared Stevens has cerebral palsy, and has the physical abilities of a 6-month old boy, according to his father. And yet, the kid loves wrestling and actually practices with his school team for fun.

But practicing wasn’t good enough for Jared.

When Jared expressed that he wanted to participate in a wrestling match, [Coach] Mayes said he called his friend Randy Stevens (no relation), a coach at another middle school.

“It wasn’t about weight class,” Mayes told the Tennessean. “I told him to point me toward the kid who has the kindest heart.”

In came 12-year-old Justin Kievit. The two came together on the mat, treated each other as equal rivals, and Kievet let Stevens win.

Now, obviously he was going to let him win. That was the point. You would be the biggest prick in the world if you didn’t let the kid with cerebral palsy defeat you. But that’s not what impressed me about Justin Kievit.

What impressed me — if you actually watch the video — is that he didn’t just fall to the mat and let Stevens fall on top of him within seconds. He actually tried. He made it look real. You can tell that he was genuinely interested in making sure it appeared that Stevens earned the victory, and to me, that makes all of the difference in the world.

Kievit deserves all of the accolades in the world for this. He deserved to be a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’s show, he deserves to be on Good Morning America, and most of all, he deserves to be one of those lucky kids who ends up banging his hot teacher. He deserves all of that.

And some cynics will look at this video and say, “Isn’t this a form of exploitation? Isn’t it almost cruel to do this to a disabled kid?”

Well, his father dismissed that notion.

“I think a lot of people are scared to put kids like me on the mat, but they don’t need to be,” Jared, a boy with cerebral palsy,” told Franklin Home Page on Monday. His match with Justin had been his first.

Jared’s father told the Tennesean that though his son has the physical capacity of a 6-month-old, his intellectual ability is close to his age level. Socially, his dad adds, Jared “hits it out of the park.”

“Jared just likes to do stuff like everybody else,” he told the Franklin Home Page. “There’s a limit to what he can do, but something like wrestling, he can do that as much as he can do. He just enjoys being out there participating. He doesn’t mind trying anything.”

It’s just a feel good story, plain and simple. And the world needs more of this.

Happy holidays, maybe.

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