April 29, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
Sometimes, my humble little blog gets letter from nice people who say nice things and make me feel all gushy inside and stuff. And sometimes I get not-so-nice comments, but hey! Today’s the royal wedding day and I’m feeling all good and stuff! So I’m sharing a NICE LETTER.
Anyways, I received this yesterday and it made me feel good bgecause it’s not just about awareness. It’s about acceptance and understanding. It’s about giving kids a chance to shine. So, without further ado, read this letter from Lisa Matthews:
I’ve been reading your blog, for guidance, for a break, for a laugh. And I want to say thanks.My husband coaches a little league team ages 7 and 8, and we have two little boys on the team who have autism. Out of the entire league we got the only “reported” kids with autism. How this happened? Who knows, but one thing is for sure I wouldn’t have it any other way.I am team mom and what these two little boys have taught the other 12 players is priceless.We have gone from them saying things like “I hope (name left blank) doesn’t show up for this game!” during the first few games, to “Yay, here comes (name left blank)!”During the first games the boys were withdrawn, or would literally fall on the ball and guard it with their life while the other team would score run after run. Now they run after that ground ball and throw it in as fast as possible. They are teammates.As you can imagine word spread like wildfire that “we were the team with two autistic kids” and other parents would shake their heads apologetically and actually say things like “You don’t play them every inning do you? You do know you can sit them out every other inning?”“Why?” I’d ask. “Let ’em play. That’s what they are here to do. It’s a game, a GAME!!! They are kids. Let them play the game.”And that’s what we do.We suit them up in full catchers uniform and put them in the game behind the plate. Other parents from the other teams practically lost it. “What are you doing?” They’d ask. “The catcher has to be able to catch the ball, and tag runners coming in to home plate.”Okay. If it’s too much another player on our team knows to back up them up, after all that’s what teammates do for eachother. Let ’em play!They have grown so much.And their parents have been brought to tears, literally.One of the parents came to the dugout and asked if *** was benched, and I said nope he was on the field. After she searched the field she said she couldn’t locate him could I tell her what position he was playing, “Oh”, I said “He’s a catcher now.” Her knees almost gave out as she fumbled for her camera.I am fiercely protective of these two boys, okay I am protective over all our players. And I am so proud of the way that they have grown as a team. I feel sorry for the other teams because they haven’t grown like we have. Sure, we haven’t won every game, not according to the scoreboard. But according to what is going on in that dugout, I say we have already won the whole season!Thanks for your blog. I love reading it.~Lisa Matthews
And this, my friends, is what it’s all about. Just sayin’.