July 26, 2010

On the road again

The GPS says we are 158 miles from Denver. That’s about 2 hours and we will be early to pick-up Alex from the Special Olympic Office. We sent Alex back on the bus with her team, and although she had the option of coming with us, we knew she would prefer to ride back with the team.

It has been an incredible week; one which met my expectations and more. The athletes, coaches, volunteers and Lincolnites (I learned this is a real word) raised the bar. The host city to the next National Games in 2014 will have a tough time improving upon the show we had in Lincoln.

Despite Alex’s medaling disappointment, which I suspect will have disappeared by the time we pick her up; I know she had the time of her life. She spent seven nights on her own and learned about independence. She was a valued member of a team and respected for her abilities. She made friends and felt like she was part of the group. I know that as much as she is included in sports at school, she knows she is still an “outsider” and not as good as the other athletes. This is not the case with the Special Olympics.

Alex will remember this week for the rest of her life. It may take a while for me to hear about the entire week as Alex relates events in her life in snippets. She does not sit down like my other kids, and tell me a complete story at once. I believe this is part of her speech skills; processing long narratives at a single time is difficult. The thoughts are in her head, but the ability to process these thoughts into many sentences is tiring. She takes the easy route; and relays her life to us in short tales. I applaud her ability to compensate for something which must be challenging for her.

Alex and I have a little litany we go through when we have not seen each other for a long time, or even a short time.

Alex – I love you

Me – I love you more

Alex – I love you best

Me – I love you bestest

Alex – I love you est

Me – I love you er

Alex – Mom that is not a word

I cannot wait for 4 hours from now when I hear this again.

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