Cool Mom in Shades
Once again I find my emotions getting the best of me. I can feel my insides melting and the steel and armor that gleams, “I’m in charge. You can’t hurt me. I don’t need you,” falling away! The walls are melting away, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
The tears have arrived and are flowing warmly down my cheeks. I respond by quickly pulling my sunglasses out of my shoulder bag to put on although I’m standing in the bathroom at the Thunderdome gym at UC Santa Barbara. I then grab paper towels to wipe the tears away while feeling silly because I’m now wearing dark shades, standing in the middle of a very busy gym bathroom, trying to look cool and hide the tears.
I’m a mess and with my 29 year old Autistic son at a Special Olympic’s Basketball tournament. They have just finished winning their first game and I have SHOUTED:
Dragons Special Olympics Team before the First Game
Shine your light, baby;
Overcome, you can do this;
Understand, that you are the best and that God is by your side;
Take that Win)!
My baby is 29 years old, # 52 in the picture above. You’d think I’d be over it by now, and the tears would have dried up. I have SHOUTED for each and every player on the team! And they have received it and won, big time, although I understand that the SHOUT isn’t the only thing that causes them to win. We also have a great coach, and the guys on the team are just special. Up by 22 at half-time, the coach tells them to turn it off and let the other side score some baskets. But they can’t. Even when they aren’t trying, the ball falls into the basket. So I start cheering for the other side.
I cheer for the other side because I know we all want to WIN the game, and also win in life. I cheer because I know we all experience times when we’re afraid that we don’t have what it takes. I know, from experience, that the walls are built to protect our hearts from the un-expected things that we can’t control, like a disabled son. Or from being clumsy on a the basketball court. In 1992, while raising three baby boys in Los Angeles without an extended family, I placed steel around my heart until the need to just accept what I couldn’t control, my son’s disabilities, pierced through it all. The SHOUT restored and transformed me.
I’ve seen differently ever since. With fresh eyes, I look deep into the eyes of others, including the eyes of the disabled athletes at the tournament. I see the fear in their eyes that shouts, “I don’t have what it takes.” I also see calmness in the parents and athletes who have accepted that they are fine just as they are. I see the individuality of the hundreds of participates. I see their colors and ethnicities, Asian, Jewish, African American, White, Hispanic. I see their varying sizes and shapes: Tall, short, round, thin, some well proportioned, some needing a trip to the gym. As I look with fresh eyes, I see their different frailties and abilities. I gently accept that God is no respecter of persons. We’re ALL vulnerable to his will. We ALL need someone to SHOUT for us from time to time.
I guess the crying is a lifetime thing: Whenever my disabled son is full and happy and at-peace with himself against the odds, against all that life can throw at him, I get teary eyed. I cry because I’m happy he’s reached a Nirvana state, even if it’s only temporarily. It’s what we all want. To be full and happy and at-peace with our selves no matter what life brings. TO SHOUT everyday with our lives. See my piece on my blog, Dance, Drink, Eat, and Pray
I do the same thing when his younger brothers, who are prep high-school graduates, college educated, tall and handsome social magnets, make a milestone or succeed at something. I cry! Because to be full and happy and at-peace with our selves is as good as it gets. And so I SHOUT!
40 point win in the second game,
Dragons, Undefeated, receiving the Gold!
Founder of the Indelible Impact Program
Sponsored by Sisters Supporting Sisters, a 501 © (3)
Mom, Author & Motivational Speaker
Creator of the SHOUT
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