Wednesday, May 22, 2013

my special girl...

Okay.  So I just realized I wrote this post 2 weeks ago and never posted it.  I decided to post it anyway, because it was such an amazing experience for me.

Last week Grace competed in our county's Special Olympics.  This was her first, our first, experience with Special Olympics.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  It was, it is, hard to describe what being there was like.  I took a boatload of pictures - which I'm hoping means I took a lot of pictures because I certainly did.

Grace's events took place before the opening ceremonies because she is so young and she (and the kids) in her class have such short attention spans.  I arrived at the track where Special Olympics was being held just as they announced Grace's first event, because I have 3 children and if something is going to delay me in the morning or go wrong, it is certainly going to happen on the day that I need to be somewhere and not the days that I am just going home after dropping off the boys at school. 

I was so happy I got to see her participate in the 40 yard dash.  Now at home she rocks the 40 yard dash but that is because she is usually chasing one of us.  However, sister got scared or startled or whatever and she didn't go when her teacher encouraged her to.  So as a result, she came in dead last.  But because it is the Special Olympics, she got a ribbon anyway - which she chewed on while waiting for the opening ceremonies, but that's okay...

Here is Grace with her amazing teacher, Lee Ann whom she loves.  Rumor has it she says 'lee lee' at school when referring to Lee Anne, but I know that that's not true because Grace doesn't say my name and she wouldn't DARE say anyone's name before mine...

Grace also participated in the tennis ball throw.  Throwing is typically something she does really well.  But Grace is a little bit stubborn and she didn't appreciate the volunteers telling her where to throw the ball.  So she had a small fit and refused to throw the ball in the right direction.  But again, since it is the Special Olympics, she got a ribbon for participating.  She did not chew on this one, so maybe the blue ribbons taste better than the red ones.

After Grace's two events, we sat down in the bleachers to await the opening ceremonies.  I will tell you that I was choked up the entire time.  It was so emotional for me.  There were so many kids participating, so many teachers & aides, so many parents & siblings and so many volunteers.  All there for my child and children like her.  I tear up just thinking about it.  I typically have a love / hate response to these situations.  I love that they have them for children like this and I hate that I have a child like this.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, it was just like the typical Olympics.  There were speaches, a color guard, the national anthem was sung, there were cheerleaders and the torch was run around the track.  It was so amazing.  I just wish I had known how amazing it was going to be because I would have had Mark and the boys with me.  I'm going to take the boys out of school next year so they can come see Grace participate.

After the opening ceremonies the events started and it was organized chaos.  There are a lot of children who participate who get it and realize that they will be competing and then there are a lot like Grace who have no clue what is going on.  It was great to see all the different abilities being celebrated.

Grace participating in a few non-ribbon activities and had a great time.  Then all the kids in her class had had too much - too much sun, noise, activity and it was time to return to the classroom.  I was so happy that I was able to come and be a part of this special day.



Sarah said...

Awwww.... so proud of Grace! And you, my sweet friend! You are celebrating her abilities every step of the way!!

Hannah said...

What a great day! That last picture of the two of you just radiates joy and pride :)