This weekend has been very busy for us. The summer Special Olympics is underway!
The Bocce teams played yesterday. Tuxedo Cat competed on the Unified team this year. They came in fourth in their age group. The first place team really has this game down. And I still don’t understand how the scoring works, but that’s okay. It seemed like everyone had fun by the end of the day.
The only part of yesterday that bummed me out – or rather concerned me – is that the official running things declared that unified team members where not permitted to wear numbers. What this meant was that only those with disabilities got to wear numbers.
The reason this bothered me is that it defeated the purpose and countered the spirit of having unified teams. Unified teams support community inclusion and integration. By not having all team members wearing a number, we created an additional visible division at this event. I don’t think that was ever suppose to be the intent of this event. Like ever.
I know the kids on our unified team were bummed and felt a bit put out like they were treated like non team members. The other thing I saw is that it marked those who had invisible disabilities so now they didn’t blend in they way they do at school with their friends. Here they were together on a team, but now one is marked and one isn’t. They might have seen it as “team member and non-team member” but I saw it as “normal and not normal” and either way you looked at it… it hurts like hell.
I mean, every one of these unified team members are either a sibling or a childhood best friend since they were little. Like these guys are inseparable kind of friends. They’re not here to stroke an ego. They’re here because they enjoy this game and they’re playing it with someone they have a bond with. And I thought that was the point of the unified teams. Seriously, what the hell was that official thinking?
It’s interesting to note that the team that got first place for their age group ditched the numbered bibs entirely for the whole team. Not sure why they chose to go that route, but I’m kind of wishing our team thought to do the same. They didn’t appear to have any of the fussing in the beginning before the games started like our team had. I mean our team did have fun, but it took us a little bit to let the issue of the numbers go.
Today Tuxedo Cat was only signed up for the softball throw. And for some reason the teacher that always helicopters over him felt the need to butt in and fuss over him this morning despite the fact she isn’t a coach and despite the fact that I was there. His number hadn’t been called yet but she insisted that he was supposed to be throwing right then. His name wasn’t on the list for any of the heats throwing, but she made him be added to one of them and they let him go.
He ended up competing with the 16 to 21 group and came in 3rd place. He was supposed to compete in the 12 to 15 age group. So not bad considering Tuxedo Cat is built big enough to physically keep up with these guys anyway. We go home. I get a phone call from his biological father who showed up for his scheduled time to throw – we just missed him going out it seems. And they called his name for his age group.
So I’m a little pissed off that this woman yet again meddled with things instead of just let things be and minded her business. She wouldn’t listen to me or the guy calling off the numbers. I seriously don’t understand why the officials let her plow them over like that either.
This isn’t the first time things have gotten messed up because she has swooped in and gotten involved with whatever my kid was doing. I’m not sure what I need to do to get her to understand that this child doesn’t need to be helicoptered like that. It might explain why this year he’s been so damn grumpy over simple reminders every day.
Despite all that, Tuxedo Cat did exceptionally well and held his own. I’m proud of him.
Tomorrow we go back for the speed walking event. I was told by the coach that he’s the only team member that signed up for a Sunday event. So we’ll be the only ones showing up in the morning. Hopefully there will be no more mishaps!
So, without further ado… in the spirit of summer, and much needed relaxation, I offer this Aloha Café Background music for this weekend’s playlist. It’s three hours long so it should give all of us plenty of time to kick back and chill with our favorite beverages.
I’ll see you all tomorrow and even if he doesn’t win a medal, I hope I have happy news to share with you all. Until then, I wish you all much love, light, and laughter!