Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the Edge of the Team

Today is going to be a two parter, the before and after. Not for any particular reason, just to be exciting. Actually, I think the before part is sort of my therapy, you know, the Vicadin they give you before a particularly stressful dentist appointment. Let's look at it that way. . .

I've written before about Alex being the manager for the basketball team at school. I don't know that he is especially useful to them, but the coaches and the kids let him hang out with them during practices. It's really one of the rare times he gets to be with kids outside his special ed class. He loves doing this. During the home games he keeps score, very unofficial score.

The only reason this activity is even available to Alex is because Mrs. Teacher made it so. I've told you before about this amazing person we have been blessed with. In case you haven't read my prior posts, Mrs. Teacher volunteers all her time to be with Alex at these practices. Did you get that? VOLUNTEERS !!

Well, a few days ago, this fantabulous Mrs. Teacher of ours, lost her mind ! She came to Alex's Dad and I with this great idea. She wanted to take Alex to an away game on the team bus. On the bus. 8th grade BOY'S basketball team. Away Game. Here's how we knew she'd really lost it . . . "I just think he should experience the whole thing. He'll love it!"

OK, I haven't told you everything about Mrs. Teacher. You already know that she is the most beautiful angelic person on this planet as far as we are concerned. But, she is also, the most beautiful, angelic person to people who don't know her. Get it?

So, when this idea comes up, so many things start racing through my mind. Alex doesn't ride the bus very often, and when he does, it is with his classmates that he knows well and is comfortable with. Then, there's his whole overall anxiety thing. A different gym? He leaves the home games early half the time. No telling how nervous he could get in an unfamiliar setting with an unfamiliar crowd. . . and with all that, no telling how he will react! Oh man, too much stress!

That's not all, though. I also have this fear that Mrs. Teacher, as wonderful is she is, doesn't really have any idea what she is getting herself into. Sure she's ridden a bus and been around kids. But twenty five boys on a bus with HER. I kept getting this picture in my head of all the boys on the bus and her gliding up the steps . . . It was like a commercial in my head, maybe for shampoo or something!

Anyhow, of course, this is a great opportunity for Alex to spread his wings! Mrs. Teacher is sometimes (OK, a lot of times!) better than us at seeing what is good for him! So guess where Alex is going tonight?

We do have an escape plan built in. You know the one, mom follows bus, sits at game, blah, blah, blah . . . I'll be back in a few hours to let you know how it went!

Well, well, well . . . as Alex likes to say. What a perfect evening. The only bad thing about it is that my backside hurts from the bleachers!

According to Mrs. Spectacular Teacher, Alex was a bit reserved on the bus ride to the game. Once they arrived at the school, he had a little snack (which is very important to Alex) while the team changed into their uniforms, then settled in behind the bench to take stats and photos. At some point during one of the games, they play two games, Alex told Mrs. Teacher that he wanted to stay for both games and ride the bus home with the team.

Unbelievable! Now, odds are 100-1 that the stats aren't right, but he did it! And he stayed for both the games. He even took some pictures with his new camera for the school newspaper. Quite a few of them are good, too!

From what I gathered, Alex did quite a bit of visiting with the coaches on the ride home. Great, no telling what I am going to have to explain to them !

Thanks to Mrs. Teacher, Alex got to do something that most every other boy gets to do at some point in his life. He's not quite a part of the team, but now, he's on the edge of it! And we thought she was crazy !


Kathleen W. said...

Wow, that is just amazing. How wonderful for you all. I was an art teacher and one of the greatest things to see is a child open up in a new way, especially when he/she breaks out of any expectations. That is such a wonderful story.

I'm visiting your blog for the first time (after you visited mine) and I'll definitely be back to read more about Alex and your gang.

Kelly said...

Good for Alex! Can't wait to hear out it went!! Yay for him and for you!

The Lesters said...

Awww! So glad he had a great time.

Sara E said...

yay! I love reading your Alex stories.. even after you were trying to give me a hard time this mornning ;)