Sunday, January 5, 2014


I've done a fair bit of damage to my body this weekend.

Today I did a brutal P90X workout, and now it feels as if each of my limbs weighs 300 lbs. whenever I attempt to move.  I seriously consider if it's worth it just to get up and use the bathroom.  Today my muscles are just fatigued.  Tomorrow they're going to actually hurt.  School has already been cancelled for tomorrow due to plummeting temperatures and piling snow, and my kids are going to have to entertain themselves and take care of themselves since I won't be able to function.

The workout was necessary because I gained a science-defying amount of weight this Christmas season.  Why is it so easy to put on and so painful to take off??  Plus Jared is trying to convince me to go on some tropical getaway this summer to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.  The threat of a swimsuit is enough to make me bump up my exercise.

The other damaging thing I did was that yesterday I chewed all the skin off from inside my lips and inside my cheeks.  It's a nervous habit.

Yesterday Griffin started a basketball program for kindergarteners (Union Mission, for you locals). 

We actually attempted this same program (for preschoolers) two years ago.  The kids joined the head coach and teenage helpers down on the gym floor while the eager parents and grandparents sat in the upper deck and looked down over their little darlings. 

This was the exact setting in which I realized that my child was different than the children around him.  As I looked down and watched Griffin flapping his hands and refusing to follow the coach's directions, I felt the sympathetic glances from the other parents.  Griffin clearly looked like a child who was "not normal."  Everyone around me knew it, and I fully realized it for the first time.

We were determined (perhaps foolishly) to finish the season, and it became a source of severe stress every week.  For all involved.  We had paid a lot of money, and I hadn't yet learned that sometimes you can quit things if it's in your child's best interest.

That basketball experience was the final straw that made us take Griffin to Easter Seals for testing.

After his diagnosis and life that followed, we came to the conclusion that Griffin just may not be cut out for team sports.  To be completely honest, I've never actually accepted this conclusion.  We haven't attempted any team sports since that AWFUL basketball experience, but Griffin told us that he wanted to try basketball this winter after his brother started playing.  We double and triple checked with him.  And then asked again just to be sure.

So with butterflies in my stomach, I gave Griffin my cheeriest pep talk and reminded him of rewards that awaited him if he just complied with the coaches' instructions. 

It started out well.  I set up camp in the upper seating area with Nolan and Nora as well as my dad and Jared's dad (I love having The Grandpas at the kids' activities!).  Jared walked Griffin down to join the other kids who were just shooting around.  Jared didn't return right away, and I was afraid Griffin was already breaking down over the separation, but then I spotted Griffin timidly carrying a blue basketball toward an open hoop.


He shot around for awhile, and then we hit our first little bump when his ball rolled away from him to the other side of the gym.  He just froze.  He didn't run after it.  I'm not sure why, but he just stood there.  Eventually, thankfully, one of the teen helpers retrieved the ball and gave it back to him.  Whew!

When the head coach got the practice officially started, I got nervous about how Griffin would do switching from an activity where he was in control (shooting around at his own pace) to an activity where he had to do everything the coach said.

First was an intro:  fine.  Then came warm ups:  fine.  Then the kids were given basketballs and I held my breath to see how Griffin would react to getting a yellow ball instead of a blue one (blue is his favorite color).  Yes, you may be silently judging me for having a child that might melt down over the color of basketball that he gets.  He's a work in progress.  I just didn't want any tiny detail to derail his otherwise successful time at basketball.  And he did just fine with the yellow ball. 

You may have guessed that there was trouble at some point, and that's about where we are in this story.  After an explanation of how to dribble with your fingerprints and where to put your other hand and how to stand, the coach wanted the kids to practice dribbling.  Griffin melted.  His face crumpled and he began silently crying.

A teenage girl helper noticed him crying and tried to comfort him.  Jared quickly headed down to intervene.  Jared and Griffin ended up sitting on the sidelines for 5-10 minutes.  Griffin got a drink and Jared tried to talk to him.  Apparently, Griffin said he doesn't know how to dribble.  He didn't want everyone watching him since he wasn't confident in what he was doing.

Eventually Griffin rejoined the kids and Jared rejoined us in the upper deck (as I fidgeted, nibbled, twisted, and clenched).  Griffin didn't cry, but he didn't exactly participate.  That same teenage girl stayed by his side and tried to get him to do the drills the other kids were doing.  It was rough until they switched to some shooting drills. 

Griffin is actually pretty good at shooting.  When he sank his first shot, his helper tried to get him to give her a high-five.  He refused, which is odd since giving super duper hard high-fives or weird high-fives (like using his head instead of his hand) is one of his favorite things.  She stuck by him though.  His team won every single scoring competition.

I'm sure that we would have had to bail early and take Griffin home if that blessed teenage girl hadn't been so willing to stick with him and keep working on him.  I told my dad I wanted to find that girl afterward and mouth kiss her.

Don't worry; I didn't assault the poor girl.  I actually didn't even get to talk to her afterward to thank her, so that's a priority for next week.

So basketball wasn't a smashing success or a wretched train wreck.  We had some victories:  good drop off, some participation, and Griffin plugged back in eventually after melting down.  We also had some frustrations:  the meltdown and refusal to fully participate.

We'll go back next Saturday and see how he does.  Hopefully my mouth heals before then.


1 comment:

  1. I think that sounds like a success!!! One suggestion thought, maybe you should take some gum to chew on. :)

    Love you:)