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How My Child Inspires Me - By Bob Zaborek

My claim to fame is that I am the father of four awesome kids. I have great stories about all of my kids, but this story is about a special day that I spent with my son, Tom, who is nineteen years old and was born with Down syndrome. About a week ago on a sunny, June day in the Colorado Mountains, we ended up having one of the best days ever.

I decided to take Tom to the Mt. Evans Trout Fishing pond. Tom was itching to go fishing with his new pole, so I did some searching and found this place on Mt. Evans. Tom caught six trout that day, but here's where it became a day neither one of us will ever forget. Tom caught a big one. He was so excited every time it jumped up and danced across the water, he'd hoot and holler and call out for me to help him. Everyone in the valley fishing was cheering him on and he started drawing a crowd, including the little grandpa who runs the business. When the fish would jump out of the water, Tom would yell "DAD!" and stop reeling. I kept saying, "Keep reeling, Tom! Don't let him go!"

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It took him a while and he had to work hard for it, but Tom brought that fish in all by himself. Darned if he didn't catch a 2 pound 15 ounce trout. The little old grandpa called that fish the "Lunker of the Month". He said if no one caught a larger fish by the end of the month Tom would win $100. Then he winked at me and told me that I had a winner there. I'm pretty sure he meant Tom, not the fish.

When we got home and showed his mom what he caught, she said she's never seen us so happy. We were high-fiving each other, hugging and calling each other "best friend!"

When Tom was born I never thought I'd have a day like this with him. But now I look forward to new experiences like this with my son just about every day. I couldn't imagine my life without him. I often look at my wife and thank her for this boy. My son Tom and I will always be best friends.

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