Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quiet Hands

Soccer has started up again. The boys had their first practice Monday and the first game will be this coming Saturday. The team is made up almost entirely of the same boys from the fall season, with the same coach. This was the team that lost every single game (not that we paid attention or anything) and barely scored a goal the entire season. It was like they were 2 year olds playing against 10th graders.

This team is playing against the same kids this spring.

The one new kid on the team is autistic.

Both of my boys are in "inclusion" classes at their public school. One guy has nearly half of his classmates with IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for a range of issues including severe autism to behavioral issues. The other guy has a bit more than 1/3 of his classmates. There is a lot of talk in both classrooms of accepting kids and adults with different skills and being helpful when someone needs it.

A needed help on the soccer field.

I showed up late for practice and the team was playing a scrimmage. A's mom had been there the entire time and was nervous. It was his first time ever playing an organized sport. He was wandering the field, staring through his thick glasses, as the coach encouraged him to follow the ball. His mother kept telling him to have "quiet hands" since he would walk around the field constantly shaking both hands up by his shoulders.

At one point coach set up the game so that A kicked the ball to restart the game. After he kicked it, my guys ran up to him and hugged him. You would've thought he had scored the winning goal. He smiled. My boys kept encouraging him during the scrimmage.

So while this won't be a season with many goals, I think they will all be winners. Because they are a team.

16 comments:

Heather said...

That's so great. You're raising sweet boys.

They'll get waaay more out of this than the teams that focus on winning.

citizen jane said...

Oh man. I'm an A's kinda mom (except for mine is Will), so I understand her world, right down to the thick glasses and the "quiet hands."

My fellow should be so lucky as to have pals and teammates in his life like your boys.

Flower Child said...

It's funny, I think of hands waving like that as applause - as in sign language. So to me it's as if he was applauding the whole time. We should all be so happy!

chelle said...

Nothing beats sweet & caring boys !

Lilacspecs said...

What a wonderful contrast to the stereotypic sports mentality!

Jami said...

Fireball played soccer for two years at ages 4 and 5 because she saw other boys and girls playing and thought it would be a cool thing to do. She had problems playing soccer, but stuck it out for two seasons because she didn't want to give up. It turns out that since she is the simultaneous poster child for both independence and ADD, team sports just didn't fit her personality. AT ALL! So, at age 6 she started karate, and her sensei is a terrific teacher. Now, approaching 7, she's already won half a dozen gold medals in 3 karate competitions, an arena that allows her independent spirit to be expressed. Part of success is finding the place you fit, I think, and part of it is having a lot of folks around to support you while you are fitting in.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Declan attended a special needs school for preschool and it was one of the best things we ever did. Empathy is amazing.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What a wonderful thing. This was almost the opposite experience of C's soccer playing days, when the kids were encouraged to be mean to, or exclude, kids with fewer skills, attentional issues, etc. Needless to say, we didn't have C play with that group for long.

Beautiful story, and I'm glad A will have that lovely outlet - AND your lovely boys!

AB said...

That scenario is my greatest hope for Jaxon - that he have that kind of compassion and reach out to all kids to make sure they are included always. Your heart must have swelled with pride. I would have been frantically searching my purse for a tissue. SO SWEET.

cablegirl said...

What a fantastic tale. I'm always amazed at the sheer competitiveness forced on kids at such young ages when it comes to team sports. I love that your boys' team is in it for the fun and play and more importantly, they are too.

Goofball said...

That is awesome! Very inspiring. Why can't all teams and sports and schools be like that?


I am only a bit confused that a season is starting now? and there was one in the fall? so twice in one school year? how long does a season take? so it doesn't start at the start of the schoolyear to continue until the next summer vacation??

Jenn in Holland said...

Such a gorgeous tale, but I am not surprised in the least at the reaction of your guys to A. Look at the mama who teaches them daily.
What a joy for you to see some of the fruits of that mighty effort.

Wholly Burble said...

Sounds to me like they are a winning team and their season will be one of "winning" in all the right areas of Life! Thank you for sharing this with all of us--it just warmed my heart.

Brillig said...

Wow. Those boys of yours are well on their way to being amazing men. In fact, it sounds like they're a lot more mature than a lot of the grown-ups I know. Good for them. Good for you. What a fantastic post.

painted maypole said...

that is so cool

Res said...

Thank you - for teaching your children! That is awesome!