Did you see her? She would have been hard to miss. After all, she was the only other grown up on the pint sized field, other than the coaches and the referee. A cold Saturday at the end of March and she laughed as she chased the small boy as he flew down the field to fling himself in the net of the other team’s soccer goal.
It was me. I went prepared, tennis shoes and Mom jeans, ready to hunt and gather my Amos, the four year old with autism and extra special needs. I was happy to have the chance. Did you know that I felt relief? I swallowed my pride and remembered that the boy who wouldn’t get out of the car last year.
Moments earlier, he had allowed himself to be dressed in socks with shin guards and those cleats that I hadn’t the heart to give away, even though I didn’t think he would be the fourth child to wear them in our family. He didn’t cry, he kicked the ball, not in a team sort of way, but when told to kick, he moved that little old foot (after counting down from 10, of course) and the ball rolled a bit.
I could have cried with the joy of that counting, but I didn’t. Not this day. Nope, I ate popcorn, drank a juice box, sat on a bench surrounded by little boys and did my best to show Amos the beauty in being part of a team. When he ran, I ran and when he sat, I sat and when he wandered astray, I gathered him in my arms and told him I was so very proud.
The mom on the field? She’s never been anywhere but on the bleachers, chatting with the other moms, but today, she traversed the field. Thankful for the coaches who called her son by name and thankful for the parents that smiled at her from the bleachers.
Autism didn’t win, but Amos and I sure did.
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