Eric is playing Special Olympics basketball. He loves it! God love the people who organize it and dedicate their time, treasure and talent to help these special kids. It is one of the very few things that he is able to do with other people outside of his strict daily routine of school (a special autism school) and after-school programs.
It is really kind of funny watching them play. Try to imagine his group. One has a leg shorter than the other so he sort of gallops as he runs, one is morbidly obese and looks like Al Roker, one looks like a mean dude you would hate to meet in a dark alley but is really a mild person with poor body control who just doesn’t get what is going on, most of them don’t know what is going on, one can’t hear, one laughs all the time regardless of what is happening, one has only one arm, and I could go on. When they started the season, it was like watching the Bad News Bears playing against the Keystone Cops! LOL
But you know what, because of the dedication of the coaches, and their consistent instruction, each individual has improved, and team play has really improved as well! Because of the exercise, their endurance is up. They can now dribble, pass, and shoot… sort of. Most of them have figured out the figure eight of a warm up drill. They have played against other teams. They have lost some and won some.
Because of his autism, he has difficulty expressing emotions. But you know he loves this. He is very proud of his uniform. He looks forward to practices and games. He talks about them before and after. He whines, complains, moans and groans, too, just like regular kids. It’s really nice to see him participating in something in the real world.
I am grateful there are people in our communities who give freely of their time. I have always been grateful for my children’s coaches. I have enjoyed playing sports over the years, and also enjoyed being a fan. Looking back, my four other kids have played
track and field
I may be forgetting some other stuff, too.
That adds up to countless practices and games. A lifetime of lessons. A time of life lessons. The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. All that, and more.
And now I am fortunate and grateful to witness Eric’s experience in Special Olympics basketball. Fan-tastic!!!