Special Olympics State Meet – Day 1

Today was the first day of three for the state meet and we had to get up at 5:30am this morning. Not exactly the funnest thing in the world when you have three very different temperaments to wake up and mobilize, but it was managed. As fate would have it, for some reason I woke up just before my alarm on my cell phone (never activated) went off. I found my youngest already awake watching two different cartoons. One on the Xbox 360 and one on the Xbox One – each are set up in opposite corners of the living room. And yes, he can usually keep track of what’s going on with both. So I told him we need to get ready and woke up the other two. Everyone got dressed, those that needed meds took them, and I shut down the Xbox 360. Told the boys last cartoon on the Xbox One and we were rolling out. Stopped at the gas station to pick up snacks and lunch for the day and then finally we met up with the Bocce team at the high school.

This is when my second son decided he was wearing the team shirt over the shirt he was already wearing despite the fact it was summer and it would get warmer later in the day. Yup, by afternoon he was complaining he was “sweating to death” and it was too hot and no, he didn’t want to remove the extra shirt.

Despite that, his team got the silver medal for their division! He even scored the winning point in one of the games. For someone that didn’t like this game two years ago and only played as a fill in so the team wouldn’t have to forfeit that year, he’s actually getting the hang of it. He doesn’t even complain about the weight of the balls anymore and now he has started bowling with the family. This year the coach mentioned that the Special Olympics in our state has a bowling league now and she was wondering if any of the kids were interested. I told her my boys do bowl with the family and seem to enjoy it. She was glad to hear it. So maybe next year we will have a bowling team as well.

The other great new thing in our state started with the kids is the unified teams for Bocce and Bowling. I don’t know if this is being done with the adults too, or if it’s just the kids mind you. But regular kids can now sign up to join with these special athletes and play together. This means the unified teams only compete with other unified teams while the regular teams complete only with other regular teams. So now my Bipolar son who was previously unable to participate on a team because he didn’t qualify for special ed services, can now sign up and be on the same Bocce or Bowling team as his Autistic brother. How cool is that? The coach found it really exciting. She didn’t realize that the reason he didn’t sign up was because he was homeschooled this year and hadn’t heard about it. She told me that next year just have him come in and we’ll get the paperwork all taken care of. He comes every year ever since his brother joined the team. Everyone knows his name, talks to him, understands his quirks, respects his space, plays with him, and is really happy to see him. In many ways I feel he fits in more comfortably with them than he did in the so called normal crowd. I think it’s great these kids are given the opportunity include one another as a community outside of school. Several students signed up this year – four on my son’s unified team, and I don’t know how many on the other unified team. That’s pretty awesome. My oldest son sounded truly interested in joining the team with his brother next year. It does my heart good to see those two boys get along so well.

My youngest did alright today. He was the little social butterfly and wanted to talk to everyone as always. The only trouble we ran into was when it came time to start passing out medals to teams. He wouldn’t stay away from the tiered platform. I kept calling him away from it but every time I looked away to attend to something else he was right back over there. I’ll be damned if an official didn’t bring him over to me to ask me if he was my child and ask me to keep him from disrupting the proceedings. *sigh* I was trying, I swear. I apologized to her and told her I would try harder. No sooner than she left he started up with his aggressive verbal “tough guy stuff” and I knew then, as much as I didn’t like it, I had to give him the 0.5mg Clonidine. He was talking about how she wasn’t the boss of him and how he was going to just play over there anyway – among other things. The swearing started to kick in too. Nothing good ever comes of that from this boy. I couldn’t let that fester into action. It always does. This all started around lunch time. Of course he fought me. Of course he threatened to throw it, or bury it in the dirt – anything to not take it.

This was the fourth time since they have prescribe it a month ago that I have had to give it to him. If we were home and not in public I wouldn’t have given it to him at that point. I would have tried to talk him down and see if I could calm him that way. But not today. Not with that many eyes and ears to make him feel embarrassed. He did take the med after a bribe. I promised to take him to the Dunkin Donuts for one doughnut if he would just take the med and chill for the rest of the day. So he did and we took a walk outside the dome – away from the pressurized air that keeps it up and toward the great big pine trees. I asked him to climb under the sweeping low branches and see how many different pine cones he could find. He found four “red” one and three “brown” ones. Then he had me break off a small branch that looked like a man to him so he could play with it. We walked back inside then. He was calm, content, and pleased with his “Mr. Tree” branch man thing. He showed it to everyone willing to listen to him talk about it. He fell asleep for the rest of the event.

A part of me felt guilty. A part of me felt selfish. A part of me felt grateful I was able to keep him and those around him safe. Overall I am very thankful we didn’t have a repeat of the nightmare last year where it was nonstop chasing him down all over the place with him alternating between being super friendly and screaming in rage. Today could have turned out far worse than it had.

When it was all said and done, we did stop at Dunkin Donuts. Took what felt like forever to get him to wake up enough to order that doughnut. He was half awake in the car to eat said doughnut. He slept the entire time in the booth when I fed the boys at the restaurant for dinner. The entire drive home, the rest of us were pretty sleepy too. My youngest made it as far as the couch. The other two didn’t last much longer. Neither did I.

I meant to have this posted Friday night, but due to computer issues and fatigue, this post wasn’t finished and didn’t make it up here until early this Saturday morning. Sorry about that. I’m sure the dates, time references, and when it appears may be a little confusing.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some thoughts about it, please let me know!

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