My Family

My Family
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 2 - Minnesota Special Olympics Meet

Today Callie had her 100M run.  The walk from the parking lot to the field was very stressful for Callie.  There are school buses for shuttling people and city buses as well as general traffic noise.  All of which is completely overwhelming for Callie.  She is terrified of the buses - she fears their loud breaks, their unexpected starting and stopping.  It took everything we had to get her safely up and over the bridge.  She finally made it, but was clearly stressed out by the experience.

 Thankfully she remembered the Boogie Tent - the place where dancing happens.  She did the macarana, the hokey pokey and Surfin' USA - with every song and dance she relaxed.  It was also mascot day - there was the Saints baseball team mascot, the Wild's mascot, McGruff, some others I didn't recognize and her favorite - Buck the Swarm mascot.  The Swarm is our pro lacrosse team - her big brother, a big fan and player of lacrosse,  would have been proud.  In true Callie style she put the mascots together in matchmaker style and brought people in to dance along.

She was ready to go when it was time for her big race.  I watched several other races as I waited for her to line up for her race.  Finally it's their turn and Callie and our friend Julie follow the group into the arena, then across the field and I was perplexed - why are they crossing the field when the finish line is clearly right in front of me - the cheerers are right in front of me.  All of a sudden I realize that she is going to run her race on the other side of the track.  She is going to run the race that we had worked so hard on.  We worked on conquering her fear of the starter gun or even the whistle - we talked and talked about staying strong - not crying or falling down or clawing the track due to her anxiety.  I panicked that I was going to miss this race that we had all worked so hard on.  I jumped up, grabbed my camera and while repeating - you've got to be kidding me - all the way around the track I ran trying to get there in time.  I wanted that first race on video so we could celebrate it over and over.  I realized there was no way I would make it in time.  I could tell she was running well, but not what place she took.

Immediately afterwards she went to the awards ceremony.  We anxiously waited to see what place she came in.  Hallelujah she was 2nd - she appeared to be the youngest by far, but she came in second.  We were all so proud of her.  As Julie and I talked about it we realized that it was very likely she ran well because she was on the far side of the track - away from the cheerers and all the observers.  In retrospect it was a good thing for Callie and after all it is suppose to be about her and her ability to overcome - not my need as a mom to fulfill my desire to madly cheer for our girl who is an overcomer and continues to be an overcomer.  Oh, I was cheering - it was just a quieter more inside type of cheer.  Yeah Callie!

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