Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Penny Loafers in Volleyball

We walked in and the band was playing, the student body officers, cheerleaders and mascot were all lined up to cheer on the players!

I couldn't help but tear up when I saw all the "typical" kids cheering and playing for so many of our "non-typical" kids!

They were really excited to be there.

All of them.

It was so special!

I don't remember anything like this when I was growing up.

Maybe it was there and I was just oblivious.

I am so thankful now, though, that I am aware of the amazing things that are organized for people with special needs.

It was all part of a Just For Kids thing where they make it possible for all abilities to play a sport.

This time it was volleyball.

When Mrs. G first asked me if I thought Brother would like to play a volleyball tournament I thought back to all the notes that had been sent home about this ordeal...

"Brother doesn't like competition. I really don't think he wants to do it," I replied.

She queried further and I conceded that she ask Brother what he wanted to do.

I was so shocked when she replied that he said, "yes, he wants to do it."

"Sweet!" I thought. My son, who refuses to play sports, usually, was going to be in a volleyball tournament! I had to call Marc right away and let him know. He sounded as leery about the idea as I did when Mrs. G first asked.

We weren't really sure what to expect when we attended this tournament and made sure to keep our expectations low.

So when we walked in to witness that this, indeed, was a very big deal, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. What a wonderful thing for so many youth to participate in to make a wonderful memory for youth with special needs and their families!

I was worried that with the crowd and the noise that Brother would run out screaming, but he got on the first court and exclaimed while looking around, "This is awesome!" He was a success.

He was able to serve the ball over the net so well I couldn't help but cheer my heart out. Marc was much more calm than me and was able to get video while I was busy going crazy with pride.

On each court there would be 3 athletes (the players with special needs) and 3 supporters (mainstream kids who volunteered to help).

It was so awesome to watch the team work together with genuine camaraderie.

He was so scared of the ball when it came to him that they started to catch it for him and then hold it still so he could hit it. He was quite proud of himself.

He refused to wear his tennis shoes... his penny loafers are his favorite shoes in the world. I think it's because on hard floors it sounds like horse hooves... funny kid!

Giving the opposing team a "high 5" after a game well-played.

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