Hello, friends. This fall Boo Bear joined the South Region Stars Special Olympics bowling team. Unlike the team he was on in the past, this is a team of all adults, much of them much older than Boo. From the start, he has loved it. The team is inclusive, welcoming, and enthusiastic. They practiced every Saturday morning this fall. Boo has come to love these Saturday events. We pick up his best buddy Alissa, drive to the bowling alley and spend 90 minutes rolling balls. Boo is even more happy that his daddy has joined us in these adventures and turns out to be one mean bowler. Boo uses a ramp as an assist, but has become very adept at picking up his own ball, setting it on the ramp and sending it down the chute. Over the course of three months, he has gained both strength and confidence. Bowling also comes with French Fries, other yummy snacks and lots of encouragement from fellow bowlers and their parents and house mates. After we have bowled two games, we always stop by McDonalds for more yummy treats and friendship.
Last Saturday was the state bowling meet at the local casino. This as an entirely new venue with lots of new sounds, smells, people, a new lane, a new ball, and different bowling shoes. Mr. Boo rose to the challenge. He and I bowled two games, and he earned a third-place medal. At first it did not sink in what he had done. We were standing on the podium with the two other winners and Boo was looking all around. There were lots of light and noise, people trying to get our attention and a million distractions. He was looking everywhere except at the camera or the official presenting the medals. The official hung a bronze medal around his neck and mine and shook our hands. Boo looked down at his medal and I could see a new expression cross his face. Suddenly, he understood that he was standing on this podium and receiving this medal because he had done something really hard and that was worthy of praise. A huge smile crept across his face. I have two pictures from this day that I treasure. The first picture is of Boo realizing the importance of what he had done. The second is both of us beaming at each other. If you want to take a peek at these incredible pictures, check us out on Facebook or Twitter, which many of you have. In short, it was a wonderful day. A day we will never forget.
I think that all the excitement and stimulation wore Mr. Boo out. I know that I was certainly out of spoons. It was a wonderful experience, but a lot to take in all at once. Boo was happy to go to school today, but when he got home this afternoon he crawled into bed and took a three-hour nap. I texted his teacher to see how his day had been. She said he had a good day but was very tired at the end of it. Eventually, he crawled out of bed, had some supper, and then crawled back in and resumed sleeping. I gave him his evening meds and left him to sleep it off. We have a houseful of guests coming for Thanksgiving dinner, his sister is home from college, and he needs all his energy for the upcoming days.
Unlike other seasons, the state tournament does not mark the end of bowling. For these athletes, bowling is a social occasion that they are not willing to give up, so we will continue bowling until Christmas. In the winter, athletes can ski or play floor hockey. I cannot see that Mr. Boo would really enjoy either of these sports, though he would probably like to watch. We are going to try our hands, or our feet, at snowshoeing. Later on in the new year, comes basketball and track. Boo loves to watch basketball and loves to participate in track and field. This will be a great opportunity to gain some more skills and make some more friends.
Happily, it has been over a month since Boo has had a seizure. The Fycompa seems to be doing its job. It is not without side effects, but the side effects are definitely not as harsh as some of the other drugs he has been on. I am quietly hopeful.
Thank you all for your support and following the adventures of Mr. Boo. He has had a great fall season. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends, families, and loved ones. We will be in touch, and until we do, be good humans. Peace.
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Oh I love this so much! I need to get my 12 year old (with Autism) involved in something like this.