I got to stand out in the field and be Joey's buddy on Saturday for his baseball game. Apparently the Courtland baseball season is coming to a close (Courtland is first seeded!), so the volunteers are now thin.
He had a nice game, even hitting a ball to the outfield! He's becoming one of the big hitters for his team! He's also running better. It is amazing what a little focus on a skill can do for Joey, and a little motivation. He is losing that toddler trot and even leans forward a little to run to a base.
It is striking to see all the Challenger kids working so hard, even as they are having a good time. I suppose all play and activity is really "therapy" for everyone, but most folks don't call it that, or even think about it. Joey gets upset when he doesn't get to field a ball, but he's still learning to pay attention to the game enough to know when it is coming- before one of the other kids gets the ball. We have a child who goes around the bases in a walker, their dad cheering them on every step of the way. We have a child learning to pitch, working on coordination. We have a child in a wheelchair who likes to play shortstop, and lets folks know it. We have a child who can spin the bat around their hand like a fancy sword move. We have a child who is a runner, and just being out there playing a game is a challenge. We have kids who have been doing this for four years, and some, like us, who are new. They are, each and every one, absolutely amazing. Maybe I ought to write a play.
Joey and I worked on playing second base, but that wasn't really good for him, not enough balls coming his way to hold his interest. JoeyAndyDad had him more in the infield later on, and that was better in some ways- more balls hit his way- and not in others- more kids up there trying to field the ball and crowding Joey out. He also doesn't like getting tagged (he knows from school that when he's tagged, he's supposed to be out).
We still encourage him to steal home. He's our little hero.