Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Olympic Champions

Today was a long day.  At the school by 6am to get everyone loaded up and situated for the 2 and a half hour drive.  Cold, overcast, windy day outside with capris on- stupid me.

Today was also a fantastic day.  We got there without issues of potty or behavior, and every child was rearing to go. Aside from a couple of nude surprises, it was a pretty non-eventful bus ride up.  Somehow, even though we were all sitting within a seat of one another, little, quiet Kay managed to undress herself in her corner seat without anyone noticing, aside from Pam sitting next to her with a rather startled look on her face.  When Lloyd, my co-worker glanced over and realized this, his hand instinctively flew up to block his peripheral vision, and he called Kathy.  When it became clear that Kay was missing some underpants and Kathy asked her where they were, Kay quite matter-of-factly said that Mrs. Lawson took them, another co-worker on the bus.  So of course for the rest of the day, if not the rest of the school year, Mrs. Lawson may very well be known as the "Panty Stealer" when it's just us around.  Of course Mrs. Lawson did not, in fact, take anyone's underpants, but it's funny anyway.  Not five minutes later, with Kay dressed again and Kathy sitting right beside her, Alley nearly got her pants off without detection!  Maybe they were hot?

We met the kids' "Buddies" for the day's events, walked in the Athlete's Parade, and listened to the German and American national anthems sung across the playing field.  We laughed with a little bit of pride, I'd say, when "our kids" did something cute or silly, and shouted and cheered, clapping our hands and waving our arms like crazed cheerleaders when they raced and played.

I wish I could post pictures of these kids, but safety and confidentiality in-tact mean I have a job tomorrow.  Take it from me, they were awesome.  Just in case there's an issue with using real names, I'll use fake ones.

Blake had two Buddies, and gave them both a run for their money.  You see, our Blake is what we call a "runner," and he is very small, but very fast.  It was nice to be able to rock back on or heals and laugh, cheering him on instead of jumping to race after him, when during the opening remarks he decided to make a dash for it, pushing through the forest of legs and crossing out onto the track that encircled the field.  The place was fenced, guarded, and Blake had two grown men running after him, so it was all good.

Alley also lucked out with two Buddies, as one of our kids called in sick today, both of whom were in love with her immediately.  Alley also tried her hand at providing running practice for her Buddies, but luckily, she doesn't have Blake's speed.  By the end of the day, Alley was posing with her ribbons, lifting her arms in triumph to our cheers, and running in circles.  Experience told me this meant she was exhausted.  I think she was out first once we were all on the bus again.  Snoring.

All the kids earned ribbons for the races and games of which they were a part, and the medals at the end just topped off the excitement like a big, fat cherry.  In addition to the competitive events, there were non-competitive games and arts and crafts tents for the kids, and even motorcycles to sit on, a fire engine to explore, and a train to ride.

Once loaded up on our coach once more, nearly everyone was snuggling into their seats and drifting off.  That was until Blake started acting a little funny, grabbing his tummy and starting to cry.  Lloyd said it looked like Blake might be sick and asked if we could pull over.  While the driver worked on that one, there was a scramble to locate and open up a plastic bag.  That's when Val, the boss of the classroom and the kids' Special Ed teacher unzipped her insulated lunch box, removed the plastic shelf that sits inside to hold further contents, and handed it back.  "I won't need that back," she said simply.  I was thoroughly impressed, to say the least, because we didn't know for sure what might be going into that lunch box container, as sometimes Blake's stomach can't keep what he eats, and we were sure something solid would be coming out momentarily, and likely before we could stop.  What a lady, huh?  Luckily the bus did stop in time and Lloyd and Blake jumped out, running toward the bushes away from the road hand-in-hand.  It turned out it was just a really bad - and sudden - need to pee, and we laughed from the bus at the sight of it from behind.

It was certainly a long day, but I'd do it again tomorrow.  These kids were so great and we all had a fun time together.  Superb job to Blake, Alley, Kay, Maria, Pam and Will!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Special Olympics. Used to be a helper myself - I got to do the swimming. So much fun. And the helpers get as much out of the event as the "kids" do. True sportsmanship - sports as they were meant to be. You know - our buddy Anne Lamott has an essay on being a Special Olympic helper too!