Me: "Okay, sure bud let's talk about it later."
A couple days later ...
Mr. M: "Did you sign me up for basketball?"
Me: "No bud, let's talk about it later."
A few more days pass ...
Mr. M: "Mom am I signed up for basketball?"
Me: "No bud, not yet."
This went back and forth for around two weeks, Mr. M begging for me to sign him up to play basketball, and me shrugging it off.
If you aren't yelling at me through your computer you probably should.
You should be yelling at me...
Your kid just said he want to do something!
He asked you again and again.
Come, on why are you signing him up.
You should be supporting physical activity.
This is a great thing.
Yes ... I thought about all of the above statements, and then I also thought about...
When Mr. M was two and in music class. When I didn't know that you were on the autism spectrum. When I would look around the room watching all the other kids easily following along to the directions, moving their tiny hand back and forth the beat of the music, and fully engaged.
While you ran circles around the outside of the group when your hands didn't follow along to the teacher's directions, where we stuck out like a sore thumb.
Where it was so painfully obvious you were completely different from the other kids.
Back before we knew about the different wiring in your brain. Back before we knew you were different but not less than your peers. Back before we knew about your thief.
We finished up music class and starting applied behavioral analysis therapy (ABA).
Instead of music, tiny tots basketball, or baseball you were at home. You learned how to communicate, follow directions, use utensils, and play.
In this time you have gained many new skills. You have an age level vocabulary, you know how to follow directions, and you are constantly telling me your wants and needs. As your skills have developed we started enrolling you in a variety adaptive athletic programs.
Programs where there are kids of all different abilities, but the community as a whole knows that there are challenges.
Where people are accepting, kind, make modifications, and can relate.
Where we fit in like a glove.
Where I am comfortable.
Where you thrive.
However, you want to be with your peers.
You want to play basketball with your friends.
I get all of it, and I really want it all for you.
However, I am also afraid.
Afraid of parents who won't get it, overly competitive people, judgment, staring, and me having to explain you.
Afraid of putting you in a program that you won't succeed in.
Afraid that you will stick out like a sore thumb again.
However, I thought about all the first reasons that popped into my head, on why I should sign up for basketball.
I thought about your tiny voice asking me over and over again.
I thought about why I didn't want you to sign you up and what it really came down to... my ego.
You don't care if you are the best or the worst.
You just want to play
You just want to be with your friends.
You just want to have fun.
Late last night, I put my ego, fear, and skepticism aside,
I took a risk.
A big one.
Welcome to recreational basketball, Mr. M.
I can't wait to watch you play.
xoxo - the chaos manager