Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Champs

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Congrats to my 10 year old M, whose softball team won the final championship game tonight against the only team they'd lost to all season.  She had a great game with key plays, which made it even more exciting...especially since Grandma and her Uncle travelled an hour to watch her.  Plus her whole family. Huge shout out to G for this, since we haven't been able to sit through a whole game, activity or function in years with him.  Of course I planned and packed enough activities, snacks, and drinks for a week; my husband I tag-teamed it; I walked way around the park with G to follow the magnificent flight of a hot air balloon, but we made it work.  We were there for my M, to support, cheer and take photos.  Yippee! 

How sad for my 2 older NT (neuro-typical) kids that this was a unique event, and not routine.  Most kids have a parent or two or their whole family for each game.  Not my kids, not this year.  Talk about feeling like a loser parent.  This season's games have been at fields without playgrounds, which makes G get into mischief/danger or create it.  His activity and judgment level is that of a 2 year old.  Unfortunately, he's also very big for his 4.5 year old self, and looks 8.  This only serves to have him appear more ill-behaved.  He has boundary issues with dogs, babies or people's items, which makes me flustered and apologetic.  He loves bleachers, but is not coordinated and falls.  He follows other kids under the bleachers, but gets hurt because of his clumsiness and lack of judgment.  He has a penchant for throwing sand, rocks or wood chips. A few weeks ago he threw rocks at a car, with a family inside, scaring the children.  Not good at all. Sigh.  When I try to redirect/stop him from any of these behaviors, he's likely to fly into a huge tantrum, screeching, crying and kicking; causing stares and angry looks (especially his siblings, who are mortified).  Not worth it.  Instead I drop off the N & M, thankful for the parents who cheer loudly for them, knowing they don't have family there for support. 

My husband works ridiculous hours, so most practice and game nights I take both kids to their fields and take G to play somewhere until I have to go pick them both up.  I'm so glad to be done for the season!  No more juggling and rushing around!  No more apologizing and feeling guilty - utterly exhausting.  Just back to a single sport now - TKD (Tae Kwon Do), which we may start him on soon.  My husband has been pushing for G to start TKD, but I've resisted, thinking he wasn't ready.  Then I took him to the kids' belt testing a few weeks ago, which was 2.5 hours in a crowded gym, sitting on the floor watching.  He kept quiet and peaceful for the most part.  Who was this boy and what did someone do with my wild G????  I've never been able to sit for more than 10 minutes with him to watch them in their TKD class.  That was enough to convince me!  I'm all for it if TKD holds his interest.  Some therapy centers offer TKD for ASD.  It may teach him responsibility, respect and discipline, but I worry the the master may be too hard on him and not understand G's issues/needs.  But maybe he'll be better for him than he is for us.  He did great at gymnastics - I believe the routine aspect appealed to him and regulated him.  The same may work for him in TKD.  I hope so.

My Facebook friends likely think I'm a braggart, posting about the kids' achievements. This is my way of giving them kudos. I can't be at their games, but I can post photos and show them how proud everyone is. I have to make it up to them somehow.  As I downloaded tonight's game photos, I cried when I saw the photo of G holding M's trophy.  He was enamored with it, just gazing in amazement.  When the team's huge trophy passed by he wanted to see it.  The coach's daughter knelt down and patiently explained it to G (what a sweetie!).  He listened, then walked in a full circle around it, checking it out thoroughly.  So awestruck.  His 11 year old brother N and I shared a moment of noticing the cuteness of him in that moment.  I worry that G may never get the chance to achieve an award.  I worry that he'll not be able to regulate or mainstream enough to last through a whole game of anything, not follow rules, not be a team player, blow a gasket or hurt someone.  Sure, there are lots of kids who don't get trophies, but he's got talented siblings who get awards for their achievements. He'll notice.  Logic and reason don't work with G, he only understands black and white, have and have not.  Not will get or may get.  All I can do is try, check out a few sports or activities to find a good fit.  If that doesn't work, we'll try for an academic or creative talent.  He gets negative feedback for his actions so often, I'd just love to boost his confidence/pride with kudos.  In any case, he's my champ, the same as my other kids.  He gets his kudos daily from us, and he returns them with his smile and hugs.  We all win, we're all winners in my heart.