January 31, 2010

Should I eat my words?

This past Friday night, the JV and Varsity girls had home basketball games. I needed some time to figure out my next move in our basketball inclusion strategy match and did not go. Also, I was not sure I wanted to see Alex sit on the bench again. I prefer my disappointment at home, where I can eat whatever I want. Mostly I crave chips, nice salty, oily potato chips. Perhaps my daughter inherited food sneaking from me?

Turns out I made a tactical error. There were two texts from John on my phone:

"Alex is in the JV game to the delight of her teammates"

"They even worked her into a play and passed her the ball. Someone must be saying something to somebody"

When John came home I heard the entire story. Alex played in the 4th quarter of the JV game. The team was winning by a significant amount and all the bench had played. Still this was the JV team; the team the Coach had not wanted Alex to play on, the team of her classmates and peers. A huge success on our part.

The Coach worked out a play with the girls for Alex’s benefit. Alex was to get free, catch a pass, dribble and pass the ball to another teammate. The first time Alex was in the game, the play did not work. Coach pulled out Alex, explained the play to her on the play board, and put her back in. This time the play worked perfectly. Imagine, working with Alex, repeating something to her and it working...I am not at all surprised. With a little encouragement, support and faith Alex can do anything.

John said he felt the immediate excitement in the gym when Alex went in the game. Even the parents on the opposing team became energized and excited for Alex. Everyone in the entire gym had a smile on their face; everyone clapped for Alex’s success. How can any Coach deprive players, parents and basketball supporters of this experience? Wish I had been there.

So, I feel I must revisit my angry words from the other day. These are the words I wrote relative to my inability to work with the school to get Alex included in the basketball games:

Is returning phone calls or e-mails beyond their scope of responsibilities?
Where is common courtesy, caring and inclusion in this equation?
Where is fair play and compassion?

As I think through my previous thoughts and words I hesitate. Was I right in believing those thoughts - or not? If I was wrong and had misjudged the situation I am happy to "eat" my words. Well not really eat, and certainly not delete, but acknowledge I was wrong.

Do actions speak louder than words? Do I expect too much communication? Is the school actively supporting Alex? Should I trust this is the case? I believe myself to be a patient person and not rush to conclusions hastily. (I am sure there are many people who may disagree with this – but perhaps they are wrong!). Should I believe?

I like to think we may be on the right track with Alex - but why did it take me getting this angry to right this wrong situation? The basketball season is almost over, and this has been going on for three months. New coach, not enough intervention and lack of follow-up created this situation – so I will learn from it. This will not happen again.

For now, I stand by my words, and appreciate the effort that the school is making in including Alex. We are all a team working to help Alex succeed.

Let's keep up the momentum. Go Alex!


  1. I am glad everyhting is working out. I got the honor of watching an eighth grader with DS play on his school team. inculsion is hard but it makes the end result soo wroth while goo alex

  2. Glad to hear about Alex and her latest b'ball game. As opposed to the recent 29-5 and still "no play" experience, EVERYONE was able to leave the game on a positive note.
    Way to go, Alex


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