Friday, November 13, 2009

Basketball Begins....

Well, our first week of Alex's basketball work as the 8th grade boys' team manager is over. It went amazingly well. Mrs. Teacher stayed and helped after school this week. I think Alex was pretty impressed with the team's skills. He was also very excited to be a part of something just like all the other 8th graders.

On Monday morning he spent forever choosing just the right warm ups to wear to practice. It was actually kind of funny. Apparently, he's had a growth spurt that we missed. We are definitely going to have to get that kid some longer warm ups!

He also had a pair of basketball shoes packed. Technically, they were hand me downs from Big Sis, but they were men's shoes, so they will work. I tried, for only a second, to remind him that he was the manager and just helping, so he wouldn't need the shoes... I am not sure what I was thinking there... what a waste of breath!

He reminded us several times not to pick him up after school. "I have practice," he'd say. Hehe, I secretly loved it!!

When I picked him up after practice, Mrs. Teacher had great reports. They'd had so much fun. He'd done so well. Coach was so impressed. There was so much more that Alex could do. He now had specific duties. I am really loving this!!!!

This is the 8th grade boys team. There aren't any special needs kids on the team. Alex doesn't really know any of these boys. I hope they are getting to know him and seeing that he can do the same things that they can. I want them, and their parents, to see that he is a kid, just like them! The only difference is a tiny, broken little chromosome that they can't even see! And... 8th graders don't even really know about chromosomes! For that matter, neither do a lot of their parents.

All I want is the kids to see through Alex's differences. You know, the kid in the special ed room all day, the kid who flaps his hands when he gets too nervous, the kid that starts rocking back and forth when he's uncomfortable... you get the idea! He can pass the ball back to them when they miss their shot, he can shag balls for them. He mopped the floor so they wouldn't slip on it. He can go get ice and water for them. He can keep time for them. He will take as much pride in that team's accomplishments as anyone on it, and you can bet, he will cheer them on more than anyone!!

And, now, sorry, I have to pause for a deep breath.... OK, better now!

Another component of this story that you might not remember is that Mrs. Teacher is volunteering her time to supervise this new managerial experience. What an amazing person. She's already spent all day with the kid, now another two hours... Unbelievable! Sometimes, I don't think I could stand the thought of another 10 minutes with my kids, and I don't have a choice. Mrs. Teacher did!!

I talked to her during the school day, today. Apparently, Alex was reminding her every few minutes that he had basketball tonight! I told her to use it as bribery for good behavior and to keep him on task. What I was really thinking, though, was, "Man, I hope poor Mrs. Teacher can take this! Does she have any idea what she got herself in to?" I am still not sure she knows exactly what she is dealing with! I will let her off the hook, though, as soon as I see she needs to be released. She's so good to him that I know she'll never ask to be released! I don't know how we got that lucky, but Thank God we did!

Next up is his Special Olympics basketball team, (the first practice had too many variables thrown in to make a good judgement) so we'll wait to see, then we've got the score keeping for the 8th grade team, unofficial, of course! But for now, I couldn't be happier with the way this story is beginning...


Helen McGinn said...

She sounds like a great teacher. It sounds like it's working out really well.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I love this ! "I've got practice" What a great sentence to hear ! Alex has a wonderful teacher ! My children also have wonderful people in their lives...people who GENUINELY love my children and that is amazing to's almost as if I feel like maybe I am the only one that can love my children...but then there's all these other people that actually truly see my children the same way I do! What a difference it is today from what I'm sure it would have been 20 years ago or more when I was in school ! It's truly an amazing feeling !
Mom of 3 Fraggles !