Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He won. He won? He won!

Caden went to district qualifiers today for Special Olympics (which will be held at the end of May). Caden was set to compete in the softball throw and the 50m dash. I honestly thought the 50m dash part was hilarious - have you ever SEEN Caden run? It's more like a trot, an adorable trot but still just a trot. I've never seen him with a full-out, unabashed run.

His teachers have been telling me how it all works: they time/measure him at school and send the times in to Special Olympics. He is then grouped with other like-abled individuals (ages 8-11) and then he competes against those kids today. The best time today wins. Gotcha.

So first up was the softball throw. We were able to sneak him in line a touch early since we were there and ready. I noticed that the kids who were throwing before and after him CHUCKED that ball. Caden? Not so much. That's because it wasn't quite time for his group yet, but we got him in early. If he would have been throwing at the same time as the kids who threw as far as he usually did I would have been able to better compare. I didn't really realize that at the time, but it started to make sense as the day progressed. So at this point we have no idea how he did...

Next we moved on to the 50m dash. There was a lot of waiting for this one, but it gave his teacher time to show Caden just what to do and what was expected.

It just made me so emotional to see all these kids with sheer joy on their faces running down the track! Some of them walked, some didn't want to go at all, and some stopped halfway and turned around. The crowd was so supportive, clapping for all racers. I had Macey and Madelyn with me and they liked watching all the racers, too.

Caden's time put him nearly at the end of all the heats with only 2 other little boys. Here he is over to the right, making fast friends with all the young lady volunteers, lol:

The shot was fired, and Caden ran. He ran! He ran all the way to the end without stopping, even as mommy was right next to the track, cheering him on! I know you can't zoom in, but I was able to on my camera and there is a HUGE smile on his face!

I got down to the end to get him and he really didn't seem that proud, just more of his usual "leave me alone mom, I'm strutting my stuff!" His teacher got down to me at the end of the track and said, "He won!" and it dawned on me - he came across the finish line first! I was so dang proud of him for running without quitting that it never occurred to me that he WON! I started crying over that...wow, he won! Next she said, "This means we go twice in May, first day for cycling and the next day for track and field!" WOW!

So we headed back to the gym to get Caden's sack lunch and watch his friend Miss K participate in her events. The gym is also where each school has a box and they put ribbons in there for the kids who earn them. His teacher came walking back to me, wide-eyed with 2 blue ribbons in her hand. She said, "They're both his." I thought, cool! And then I looked at them. They say FIRST PLACE. (And now I stand here at the laptop bawling again.) He also got first in the softball throw! So on track and field day he will compete in TWO events!

I can't explain to you what I'm feeling, but I knew I had to get home and write about it. I wanted to process it and see if I could figure out what I'm feeling. I'm proud, of course, but more than that I stand in awe. I'm so glad I went along today...it was one of those things I wasn't totally sure I needed to be at but I NEEDED to be there. I can't believe that this little boy, the one I wasn't sure what to do with as a newborn, the one I wasn't sure I WANTED as a newborn, the one who I have cried buckets over and prayed over and stressed over - this little boy is nothing short of spectacular. Just when I begin to forget that, God reminds me, and today He did so in a huge way. We live in a world that just can't help it - first place is a BIG deal. And today I got to feel the beauty of my kid being a winner in the world's eyes. For once he wasn't the last to walk, last to talk, last to potty train. He was first. And he was first twice over.

I so clearly heard the words to one of my favorite Signing Time songs as today has played over and over in my head. Here are some of the lyrics. It's a perfect way to describe Caden and how he SHINES. You shine, Caden. Love you forever.

Sometimes I see you stuck
For such a long time
A daily nothing new
Pretend I don’t mind
With lists of things you’ll never do
Until somehow you do
And you do — you do — you shine

The days and months and years,
they run together
Is it just one day? Or is this forever?
You’ve taught me in your lifetime
More than I’d learned in mine
And you do, you do, you shine

Shine Shine Shine Shine Shine
Shine your light on me
Shine Shine Shine Shine Shine
everyone will see
Shine Shine Shine Shine Shine
I’m so glad you are mine
And you’ll shine in your own time

Well, maybe I’m too close to see you clearly
Or is it now my role to simply believe?
You’re just one of those mysteries
That may never be solved in time
But you do — you do — you shine


Teresa said...

Congrats Caden!

Such a beautiful blog post Tena. The picture of Caden with the ribbons is precious!

Terri H-E said...

Oh, Caden and Tena - what a day! You tell him when I see him in March that I'd love it if he wore his ribbons so I can take a picture of the champion he's always been.


Alyssa Gaskill said...

Yeah Caden! Nice Job. I'm in tears! Love it!

Cindy said...

I love it! I love when our kids exceed our meager expectations! What a wonderful day to experience with your beautiful son. Congrats to Caden, and congrats to you too, Tena, for sticking with him through it all.

Eva said...

Tena my email is evavlcek@gmail.com I would love to talk to you. I couldn't find your email.

Melissa said...

Aww... I'm crying tears right now, but so proud of Caden and you! Caden couldn't get a better mom!

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Gave me goose bumps Caden, though, I dont know why, Im not surprised.
Great job awesome boy!

Tressa said...

So proud of Caden!!!! Never forget even if he's in last place in the world's eyes, he's still 1st in God's eyes. I loved the lyrics you posted. They are so touching and meaningful to Caden's life. Love ya all!

Jacqui said...

Indeed! He shines!!!!

Stunning blog - thanks for sharing your joy with us.