I've always known there is something very special about Freddy. His school life has been littered with incidents that suggest he is by no means perfect in conformity but I've never stopped believing in what I could see was a rough diamond just waiting to sparkle.
Freddy has had regular counselling provided by Grief Encounter over the last six years, you could see that it was important to him and for having that outlet it gave him the ability to be really truthful about how he felt, something that we all struggle with at times. There are no secrets with Freddy he can always tell me how he feels, that makes things so much easier when the communication is open and honest so no assumptions need be made.
I had an insight into how far he had come when he spoke with great maturity live on LBC Radio during one of my interviews, taking the phone off of me to confidently describe, for the benefit of other children that may be listening, how he copes with his mothers loss and how he chooses to constructively remember.
This week at sports day I was approached by a school mum who is battling breast cancer and is on her second bout of chemotherapy. She started with 'I just want to tell you about your son Freddy' and proceeded to tell me how she also has a son named Freddie in the year below and that my Freddy has been supporting him through the anger and frustration caused by her current situation.
Apparently he talks to him and offers advice about how to handle his feelings and how to deal with questions raised by other children in the playground. He apparently saw one morning that Freddie was too upset to get out of his Mum's car so he intervened, reassuring Freddie out of the car, and into his classroom.
I told Freddy how incredibly proud the mums comments had made me when we settled in to bed that night. When he woke in the morning with Freddie on his mind he wrote him a letter stating he would always be there to talk to him and how he was not to worry about what anyone else may think or say. Freddie wrote a letter of his own thanking Freddy for his support and proclaiming how much better it makes him feel 'to have someone at school that understands'.
What more could i ask for from my 10 year old? He is effectively mentoring another child that he can clearly identify with. Where does that responsibility come from? Freddy seems to enjoy making others feel better, a remarkable trait that can often be found lacking in society and here's my little boy turning his own negatives in to positives, putting self pity aside and selflessly putting others first.
I'm excited for Freddy. We could all learn a thing or two from him. Freddy has found a purpose and a clear sense of fulfilment in helping others, it's a natural path and one he is choosing for himself, I'm beyond proud. To think Freddy is in a place with the management of his own grief to be able to take on an ambassadorial role for other children that are struggling with an ill parent or indeed the loss of one.
I'm grateful she told me how my Freddy is helping, I find it both inspiring and motivational to know that he takes pride in making others feel good, or if not good, at least better. If you could make one person feel better today, who would it be and how will you do it? tweet me @jeffbrazierSuggest a correction