Saturday, September 8, 2012

Being a Soccer Mom

Today's gift is being a soccer mom.

Before I had children I envisioned myself driving a Volvo station wagon filled with kids to various after school activities....sports practices....dance lessons....music lessons...girl scouts and being their taxi service.  And if the week days weren't busy enough, the weekends would be just as full!  I wasn't too far off....I used to have a Volvo, now its a Yukon XL and I do shuttle my kids around between sports, dance lessons and girl scouts.  However, this is how I would describe my "taxi" service about two of my children during the week.  With my oldest, the typical weekday after school activities have been replaced with physical therapy, speech therapy and doctor appointments.

When she comes home from school she is wiped out.  Think about it, she works overtime in school as everything she does from walking, to trying to talk, to learning, to eating requires extra strength, coordination and motivation.  I do not blame her at the end of the day when she just wants to crash on the sofa and relax.....I would too!  Many days she can do this; however, to keep her strength up, to help her coordination and to keep her motivated she must also have the therapies to help her.  We were able to move her physical therapy to the mornings before school....which is better for her as she is a morning person when it comes to being pushed, however, it would be nice for her to not have to be pushed first thing in the morning before school even starts.  Due to the fact she is tired after school, I do not want to make her do anything she doesn't want to do, as this usually will backfire.  But I want her to have as many typical experiences as she can....but there is only so much time in the day...in the week...in the month.   Weekends are the best options for her when it comes to any extra-curriculars and I want to make sure she is going to enjoy them 100% instead of just signing her up to do "something".  

Two years ago a grandfather started a Saturday soccer group right by our home for children with special needs. We were beyond excited, as playing with a ball is one of her favorite things to do.  She and my husband made "soccer" their special time together every Saturday morning.   Last year we had to miss the soccer season due to her surgery and we didn't know if she would be ready for this season.   As we watched her getting stronger and stronger with her walking we knew she was going to be able to participate in her sport this fall.

This morning we loaded up the Yukon with chairs, soccer balls, water bottles, snacks, three kids (two who were playing soccer), two parents and headed to the soccer fields!  Both girls are playing soccer this fall and not only are they playing at the same fields, but their fields are next to each other....which means I can put my chair in the middle and watch each of them!  It was a beautiful late summer morning, with a perfect blue sky and a light breeze....I had my son sitting on my lap....coffee in my hand and I was the proud soccer mom watching both of her girls.   My oldest daughter was enjoying her one on one time with her dad playing one of her favorite sports and she was so happy to be back on the field.  Even before we left the house this morning in her uniform she was grinning from ear to ear as she knew where she was headed.  Her coach gave her a big hug and was excited she was back...in full force!  My middle daughter was running around practicing all her soccer drills and having the time of her life too.

At this moment, I was so thrilled to be able to enjoy a "typical" soccer mom experience....where a mom is able to watch two children play the same sport....on a field....with a team...in a uniform.  It doesn't matter to me the difference in their skill level of the same sport.  The only thing I ever want for my daughter with special needs is for her to be as "typical" as she can with Rett Syndrome.  Today, she was practicing soccer...with a team...on a field...in a uniform...listening to a coach give instructions.....it doesn't get any more "typical".....in fact....when I changed directions to watch my middle daughter....she was doing the exact same thing.

Here are some quotes for today....

Do not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others.  It's our differences that make us unique and beautiful- Robert Tew

Whether it is a 14 minute mile or a 7 minute mile....it is still a mile- Unknown

Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live his whole life believing that it is stupid- Albert Einstein

Its not what you look at, its what you see- Henry David Thoreau




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