The lowly goat has achieved a lofty place, indeed.

Pictures of goats (like the one above) started flooding my kids’ Facebook feeds a while back. I wondered with some amusement what it was all about, but never understood until it was explained to me by my nephew, who was then a high school senior.

You see, “goat” is not just a name of a familiar barnyard animal. No, “GOAT” is also an acronym, for “Greatest of All Time.” Coincidentally, I had this great goat picture from our just-completed vacation (details below), and I was looking for a way to share it.

Again, thanks to Facebook for providing the connection.

If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know that kids with disabilities (especially Down Syndrome) have a special place in my heart. In fact, my very first blog post almost four years ago was about my now-27-year-old son with Down Syndrome and his love for his Grandmother’s cupcakes.

So when this video hit the Internet this week, there was no way I wasn’t going to talk about it. It’s a video of two brothers, an older non-disabled brother named Griffin, and his younger brother Turner, who has Down Syndrome.  Turner clearly adores his older brother. And Griffin thinks his little brother’s pretty cool, too.

This video hit home with us, because we’ve seen it happen first hand. Our oldest with Down Syndrome, Stephen, and our 2nd son, Garrett, have exactly the same relationship. To Stephen, the sun rises and sets on Garrett. The times Garrett comes over to visit are without question the highlights of Stephen’s week. And Garrett, just 24 and only two years into married life, still comes over to hang with his older brother, just because he loves to.

In the video, Griffin is clearly Turner’s GOAT.  Just like Garrett is Stephen’s GOAT. And vice versa, I might add.

You know what’s really cool? We can all be someone’s GOAT. That’s because we all have relationships. If you’re a dad, you can be the “greatest dad of all time.” (Would that be a GDOAT? Let’s not start going there.) You can easily be the greatest friend of all time. Or boss. Or pastor. Or whatever role you play in someone’s life.

Is it hard to be a GOAT? For the goats in the barnyard, no, not really. And the answer is the same for you and me.  Being someone’s GOAT is not about skill, proficiency or even competence. It’s about showing those you have a relationship with that you care.

Do that, and you just might find your name associated with the picture above. And that will be a good thing.

Maybe even the greatest of all time.

* * *

And now for the travelogue portion of this post. The goat pictured above is one of several that Sugar’s Ribs, a barbecue restaurant in Chattanooga, TN keeps on its grounds. Sugar’s is on the hill overlooking I-24 just east of downtown.  The food is fantastic, the goats and some unbelievably adorable kittens were a fun post-meal diversion even for my now 20-something kids. We were also treated to an awesome early July sunset over the north Georgia mountains. Great way to start a vacation.




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