March 10, 2013

MILESTONES – but no expectations

Yesterday was AMAZING – I am not talking about working Tyler through the anxiety and fear to compete in basketball skills for Special Olympics and earning a gold medal (which was awesome) but some MAJOR accomplishments (even if they could be temporary)

While waiting during the down time of competition and score tallies, Tyler was playing with his trains with all the noise and excitement going on around him.  His “buddy” came back over to him and said Tyler do you want to come “play” with us – there were a group of the volunteers and their buddy kids just playing around with the ball shooting baskets.  Tyler waited a couple of minutes and then put up his trains and walked over to the “group” of people and somewhat participated in their antics.  THIS BY FAR WAS THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF THE MORNING FOR ME – the medal was just icing on the cake, or so I thought.

     Later that afternoon, a friend stopped by to drop some things off and she had brought her granddaughter with her.  She and I began talking and got carried away in conversation and her granddaughter and Tyler starting “playing” together.  Even though I was engaged in wonderful conversation, I could not help but be mesmerized by what I was seeing.  Tyler was somewhat interacting with the little girl, he didn’t stop her from touching his basketball, his fishing net, or his pile of sand.  He did not get upset when she put rock in the pile, but found it to be interesting instead.  He copied some of her plays in the pile of the sand, such as burying her hands and making feet prints in the sand.  When she would take off around he house, he would ask where she was and proceeded to follow and look.  They took turns rolling the ball up and down the ramp and catching it with the net.  For this sweet little girl, she was just playing with another child, a child that really didn’t know how to play with others and for Tyler is was a break through beyond my wildest dreams.   Later that evening he and I were sitting on the couch, and he repeated to me the events of the day, Special Olympics basketball and play with (and said the child’s name). I said yes, that is what you did today.

Do I think that because it happened yesterday that that milestone is in the past, no I do not, as most of us AU caretakers know that one day of a milestone does not secure it to be there from here on out.   Do I feel this was a day of hope and steps in the right direction, yes I do.   It was a blessing to be around a child (the little girl) that even if she did see “difference” she set it aside to play.  Even if she could see that “he/Tyler” didn’t play like she normally does or didn’t play like other kids, “she” still found a way to play.  Tyler was not pleased when they needed to leave, and that I found encouraging as well.

Two times yesterday he “played” with others, those he didn’t even know. That blows any gold medal outta the water!


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