Sunday, July 2, 2017

When a soccer game made me cry

Someone once told me that having a special needs child means you get to meet some of the very best people in the community -- because those who are drawn to work with that population often have the most amazing hearts.  We have definitely found this to be true.

This summer Rayna has participated in Take On Sports for the first time and it has been such a blessing. It is a sports league specifically for kids and adults with special needs -- and happy for us -- it happens to be less than a third of a mile from our house.

 At Rayna's first soccer game, I alternated between huge smiles and teary eyes the whole time.  Each participant is assigned a "buddy" about their same age, who encourages them and cheers them on.  It was so cool to see all those kind-hearted kids out there wanting to help and love!  The coach was fantastic, too, specifically teaching and encouraging each kid by name.

The parents all knew all the names, too, and even though Rayna was brand new, I heard many folks calling out her name and cheering for when she scored.  And yes, she scored!  A couple of times, actually.  I wish I had recorded her glowing face when she was so pleased with herself.  She loved hearing us all rejoice with her.

Rayna -- about to score!
By the second game she had really found her groove and was running up and down the field like I've never seen her do before.

Take On Sports has become my most favorite sports league ever -- the way I wish all sports were.  Everyone leaves the games with sweaty clothes and huge smiles, and in my case, a greater appreciation for the beauty in our community.

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