I Felt Proud
My son recently went to a fun-filled swim night hosted by his competitive swim team. The kids raced against each other in several different events then splashed in the water while playing a game of sharks and minnows.
Following pool time, the swimmers inhaled pizza and chicken nuggets. However, I noticed my son wasn’t sitting on the top row of the bleachers and eating with most of the boys. Instead, he was perched next to another boy, admiring a ladybug that was crawling up his arm. “Carter didn’t have anyone to sit with, so I’m sitting with him,” my son explained. I felt proud of him and told him so.
Later when the coaches were handing out homemade plastic trophies for best times, one of the high school girls gave her trophy to Carter and said, “You deserve this!” His big blue eyes lit up as he held the trophy high and exclaimed, “I am a GREAT swimmer!” His mom looked on with a big smile and tears in her eyes. She gave the girl a hug. I felt proud of this teenager.
Carter is an extraordinary boy who has autism. And I felt proud of the people who support him. His mom has three other kids and faithfully brings him to swim practice twice a week so he can do something that he loves. Our coaches have welcomed him as a swim team member and have acknowledged how hard he practices, although he’ll probably never win a swim race. And I felt proud that he truly believes he is a GREAT swimmer!
Mary Darr, Editor