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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

August 30, 2008

Oh Captain, My Captain. . .

I had one of those incredible special needs Mom moments last weekend during my 12-year-old autistic daughter's first soccer tournament of the year. My daughter has been playing soccer, since she was 5 years old and has been on a competition/traveling team since age 8. Until last spring, we've had our ups and downs (lots of downs) with players and coaches, who did not understand her inability to communicate.

Now, my daughter loves her new coach, she enjoys going to practice and she gave about 1,000 percent at the tournament. I love having the other parents ask: "What are you feeding her?"

"Jalapeno Pancakes with Habenero sauce," we jokingly respond. That's why we call her "Hot Shot."

In truth, it's encouragement from her coach, the other players and the other parents. She's riding a natural high. I'm not going to pretend that some day, she'll be the soccer version of Michael Phelps, but I have high hopes that, if she continues on her current path, she will get a soccer scholarship. In the words of Randy Jackson, that would be the "bomb."

As for the "Mommy Moment," my daughter's team elected her Captain for the day last Sunday. The team votes for their Captains based on MPV status from their point of view, not their coach's. To me, that moment was priceless. It tells me that she has learned to communicate with her team in her own way, through her athletic skills, even though she still has trouble communicating verbally.

As for me, I meant to write this post last Sunday night, but I was too exhausted from photographing the tournament. By the time I caught up on my sleep, my 6-year-old severely ADHD/asthmatic son had the croup again. So much for sleep.

On the bright side, he recovered quickly this time and we were able to visit the Georgia Aquarium today for a special tour. We saw them feed the whale sharks, got a glimpse of the elusive Nandi, the new manta ray, and took a very brief tour of the new Titanic exhibit. My son, who was dosed up on albuterol and steroids, had major issues with the dark tunnels in the exhibit so we had to breeze through, but I reminded my daughter that we can come back anytime for a more in-depth look. We saw the main exhibit two years ago when it was in Atlanta, but they have some new artifacts in this one.

That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures.

Nianya

P.S. To my friends in NOLA and along the gulf coast, we're praying for y'all.