Last Friday night, we ran some errands and then headed for the gym. When we first started shooting the ball, we were alone. Then a young man, high school age, showed up and started shooting near us. Owen became fascinated with him and would chase down the ball for him. At first he would try to kick it back to the boy, but then after watching Dad bounce pass it, Owen started trying that out and he was able to figure it out. The young man would wait for Owen to get the ball and then wait for him to pass it. Several other boys showed up because they were going to play 4 on 4 together. We stayed around for a few more minutes while Owen kept running around, chasing down the errant balls for the boys. When we moved to the other court to give the boys their space to play, Owen got a bunch of high fives and lots of "thanks little dude!". He loved it, absolutely loved it.
Just watching him, I could see the future with him as a basketball team manager. He would love that job--organizing the jerseys, handing out the drinks, collecting all the basketballs. Sure, he could be on the team if he worked hard at playing basketball and if that's something he gets interested in, we'll help him learn the game and how to play. But I know how content he is to be the helper--it's something he enjoys doing at home, helping with laundry, the dishwasher, the vacuuming, putting books and toys away. On top of that, he really loves to just watch the game and yell out cheers when the ball goes through that hoop. He's taken to smacking his leg or the arm of his little chair when a shot is missed during a game we're watching on TV.
I was really impressed with the young men who let Owen chase the balls for them, even if it took a little extra time for him to get them. They were kind to him and you could tell that they enjoyed his enthusiasm for the game as I could see them smile and laugh when Owen got excited. Sometimes I wonder if people are "more kind" to Owen because they see Down syndrome. But I really don't think Ds had anything to do with this experience. They just saw a little kid who wanted to run with the big boys and they didn't mind at all.
|This hoop is just my size!|