Well this wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned my first post on my new blog but it’s news to big to share in 140 characters on Twitter or Facebook. Bear with my writing as we have a sick 4 month old and I’m running on little sleep and not enough coffee. Not as if that’s any different than any other time.
A few days ago we received a phone call with some pretty big news for one of our kiddos. Taylor (8) has been asked to throw the first pitch at the OKC Redhawks game next week! Cool, huh? For those of you who don’t know Taylor or his story, here is a summary.
Taylor was born with Spina Bifida. He is “paralyzed” from the waist down. I put paralyzed in quotations because if you’ve ever been around him for more than 5 minutes you know he’s not really “paralyzed.” He just doesn’t have the same control or movement most of us do. But that does not slow him down! He is in a wheelchair and we deal with a lot of other little medical issues that are connected to Spina Bifida. We have always tried to minimize his disability and focus on his abilities. I’ve been called a mean mom among other things for my parenting style with him because I don’t treat him any differently than any of our other children. Some people believe I should give him special accommodations, exceptions and extra help, but I’ve never understood this. My role as his mother is the same with him as it is with any of my kids; to raise him to function and bloom in this world. This world is not a nice accommodating world full of people willing to give you tons of extra help and allow exceptions, so as far as I’m concerned I’d be a huge failure as a mother if I allowed those things to fly under my roof. Therefore, he is required to do his chores, dress himself and yes, even push his own wheelchair up hills. Awful, I know!
He’s a blessing all the same as the other kids. I do feel a little special myself though. Afterall, God did personally pick me to be a Mom to such a cool kid ya know! 😉 (Secretly I do question his judgement sometimes but what do I know?). We have tried very hard to allow him the same opportunities as our other children. In some areas this has proven to be a little difficult but we are finding our way. All of our children are athletes. Our oldest son plays baseball, our daughter plays softball and our 3yr old will be starting T-ball next week. Taylor has grown up at the ball park and a few years ago he started asking us when (not if) he could start playing baseball too. This has proven to be a little bit difficult as the only baseball program in our area is a Miracle League with a wide range of abilities and, well, Taylor’s a VERY competitive kid after watching his brother and sister play competitive sports all these years. It’s just in his blood I guess. So we started finding what sports would be adaptable for him. You would be blown away and amazed at what is out there in the form of disability sports and disabled athletes. He has been competing for three years now with GODSA (Greater Oklahoma Disabled Sports Association) on the OKC Blaze Team. It is a group of kids and teens with disabilities that compete all over the world in various team and individual sports. We even sent two of the teens on our team to Worlds last year!
Taylor has competed in Field for 3 years and this will be his first year to compete in Wheelchair Track. He is also starting Wheelchair Basketball in the fall. Every year, he and hundreds of athletes from all over the US compete in the UCO Endeavor Games. This year’s opening ceremony will be held at the Redhawks game next Friday and they wanted an athlete to throw the first pitch. I knew it was a long shot to be chosen out of all the amazing athletes, including teens and adults, but we thought it couldn’t hurt to try. I was stunned and speechless to receive the phone call earlier this week that he had been chosen! Taylor has been going to Redhawks games his entire life and could possibly be one of their biggest fans so he is just beside himself at the honor. His big brother is a pitcher so he thinks he’s now just as cool! I can’t even begin to tell you how much joy I felt telling him. Heck, I’m tearing up again just typing about it; such an awesome moment for him and I just can’t wait for next Friday to get here!
I know he would love to have your support at the game so if you are free please come out and enjoy this moment with us. Leave us a comment if you will be coming and we will try to meet up during the game.