Soccer Moms

February 6, 2008 at 1:16 am 3 comments

     I suspect some people would call me a soccer mom. I drive a volvo station wagon, don’t work outside the home, and live in suburbia. But to me, a soccer mom is the lady I saw at gymnastics tonight. She reminded me how happy I am to have a child with special needs, because I take nothing he does for granted.

     It is hugely entertaining to watch C in gymnastics as he takes such joy in the class and is an enthusiastic, although terribly unskilled, student. He loves to be there even though every single thing is extremely difficult for him to do, and he compensates in a way that makes everyone chuckle. But one mom was lecturing her son when we arrived about how he needed to work really hard to get to the top of the rope (think 7th grade gym class – who could get up that thing???). She went on and on about how he just had to do it. It wasn’t encouraging at all, and I felt sorry for the little boy (who of course couldn’t do it). I could see the future of this mother, which included her yelling at her kid from the sidelines of the soccer field because he didn’t score a goal. I could also see her complaining to the coach for playing my kid because he also didn’t score a goal.

     I realized, in that brief and lovely moment, how we take joy in every little thing C does. There’s little pressure; not because we don’t expect much, but because we recognize the effort it takes for him to accomplish anything physical and we are proud when he does. He struggles mightily to walk across that balance beam, and we applaud him wholeheartedly whether he makes it across or he falls off after the first step.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. awalkabout  |  February 6, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Back in the day, I swore over and over I could never have a child that was imperfect because I was sure I couldn’t handle the disappointment. Ha. There’s a karma kick in the pants, huh? But I agree with you. Disappointment is not the emotion we experience–it’s pride in every small step. Some of the kids have more positive steps than others, but we have many reasons to celebrate.

    That’s funny (not hah hah funny, but interesting), because back in the day, I brazenly insisted that I could handle a special needs child because I had volunteered with kids with CP and I could totally handle it. (Note the stupid teenaged vernacular here, because that’s what I was – a stupid teenager). After reading “The Secret” I wonder if both of us put it out there in the universe, and yes, karma kicked us in the pants! But disappointment doesn’t cross my mind either. Many other things, but one thing I never am is disappointed. And dang, when they do something, you appreciate the work that it took!

  • 2. hfamom  |  February 11, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    We are blessed. In your first post you said that God gives us what we need– excellent post by the way. Maybe we are what our kids need and God really does know what He’s doing.

    I think we’ve learned- and continue to learn- what battles are worth fighting. J has to learn to control his outbursts. He has to learn to communicate- however he is able.(Echolalia in context is communication.) He has to learn to tollerate- hopefully enjoy- people. But he really doesn’t need to score a goal– he just needs to try… for his sake not mine.

  • 3. Deb  |  February 17, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Ah yes, I have a special needs child x2, and its quite exilerating when they surpass levels beyond your belief!

    Thanks, Deb! I am amazed every day. Thanks for visiting, and please come back!


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