Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Little Olympian

Today we took Owen to the Special Olympics Mini Meet. We saw at least three other families we knew, so it was kind of nice to spend the day with them. We entered Owen in three different events, and I was so proud of him for running the 50-foot run, and then he did the basketball hoop (which he was very good at!) and lastly, he did the T-ball. Of course, Erik helped him, but he hit the ball. Then they gave out little ribbons. It actually ended up being a lot of fun, and I was glad we brought Owen. I think that it taught him a little bit about competition, even though he's so young, but at least he wasn't scared off by all the people. He actually did run down the lane that they drew in the 50-foot run.

As for me, I looked around and realized how lucky I am. The Mini Meet was not just for Down Syndrome but for all special needs kids. I saw some kids who were in wheelchairs, who couldn't communicate, who couldn't walk, who were much more severely handicapped, and they were there, with their parents. Being cheered on. And their parents loved them. But more than anything, I felt so grateful to have Owen and Tess. To have this amazing little boy who can do everything he can do. And I remembered in the back of my mind after Owen was born how jealous I was of every parent that had a typical child, but I forgot about those parents who had children with other disabilities, who didn't know either until after birth, and who had to deal with much, much more than I ever did, and they probably still thank God for their wonderful child. I think we are given children who teach us many things in many ways. I think that children with special needs, or "handicaps," teach us about life, and about how "handicapped" we are in our own thinking. There is nothing my child can't do if he wants to, and every day, he teaches me about patience, and love, and acceptance. I watch him with his sister Tess, and when he hears her crying, he comes running, saying "baby, baby," or "okay, okay," to let her know that it's okay. He has never once tried to hurt her (as I heard so many other parents say of their older child when a new baby comes along), but he only wants to make her laugh, or touch her. In the morning, when he gets up, he wants to just sit with her and stare at her.

Every day, I am reminded how lucky I am, and I hope I never forget that.


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2:32 PM  

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