Yesterday was a big day for us. Our oldest child is on the spectrum. The Autism Spectrum. He’s somewhat reserved most of the time, quiet, emotional and very sweet. He changed schools at the start of this year so we could have 3 children at one school and so that I could help him more and be more invested in the school. Changing schools in 3rd grade would be challenging for most kids and for our child, it is especially challenging. He doesn’t seem to cause many problems in social settings. He is just an easy target at times. If another child makes fun of him, he may not notice. He processes things a little more slowly and carefully and therefore other children may perceive this as he’s not as smart as them or doesn’t know what is going on. It’s not true. But, these are real challenges that we face. And, we face them as a family.
He loves kickball. They play it at recess and he especially loves his chance to be team captain. So, earlier in the year, I had the idea to sponsor a 3rd grade kickball game. I proposed this idea to the committee working on donations for an upcoming school event and there was nothing like this booked at the time for 3rd grade. So, I began working the details out with the school. We set a date- after STARR testing which took place earlier this week and we coordinated with the Little League who uses the fields later in the day.
Everything was set. As the date approached, we even recruited a few more players. Settling at 14 total. Which is $280 for the school. Yay!
We planned snacks, drinks, chick-fil-A and ice cream. My dear husband even designed tshirts for the event. The design was printed in all navy blue. They turned out so great. We found a local Houston artist, Randy at Donkey Paw designs who did all the screen printing for us. He is amazing and the turnaround was super fast.
The challenge: there was some kind of miscommunication in planning another event- social- fundraiser for the same grade at the same time. I don’t know how it happened. We received our date confirmation on February 7. But, somehow, 2 events were scheduled on the same day and this other game was sponsored by teachers. One of which is a teacher of my son. So, the classmates, the ones that we really want our child to have better relationships with, to socialize with, to be true friends with, guess where they wanted to be? They wanted to be at the kickball game across the field with their teacher. It makes sense. Their teacher is fun and she actually plays kickball with them during recess. And, they know her and love her. Why would they want to go with a couple of awesome parents who they don’t really know? So, I’m upset. I donated a lot of time and money for the school and this double-scheduling error has been extremely upsetting.
My sweet boy just looked over my shoulder. I quickly scrolled down to show him the picture of him and his dad. He smiled and then he said. “I just don’t understand why they had another game with players that were supposed to be on our team. We need another kickball game.” I’m not sure what can be done about it now. It was unfortunate and unfair. But, it happened. Maybe we can help to make sure nothing like this happens to another family in the future. It certainly doesn’t leave you wanting to work so hard on an event to support the school. However, I won’t give up and I won’t give in. I’ll keep fighting to give my child and other children really great, enriching experiences, even with unexpected challenges.
We still had a great time. My husband was the umpire and coach and our first grader played the entire time. He loved it too!
Our five year old even joined in the fun. The kids looked so great playing in their “team” jerseys!
What matters most is the smile on his face. His dad and I are so proud of him. He loved the kickball game and calls it a “practice game for the next one.” I don’t know when the next one is, but I hope he’ll be there with a smile!