Wil is quick to laugh, and loves to be around people.
He’s also a lover of sports. Put that together, and to me that spells T.E.A.M.P.L.A.Y.E.R.
I do not want to rush his childhood along, but I sure do look forward to the day when he is 8 years old and can join the Special Olympics basketball team.
He will thoroughly enjoy and thrive in the camaraderie of a team atmosphere.
When Wil and I are practicing basketball in the driveway, if he shoots a hoop, he jumps up and cheers. Even though he is very proud of himself, he gladly hands over the ball to me for my turn. When I make a basket, he cheers just as loudly for me, as he did for himself. Yes, he was made for team sports!
This kind of team spirit Wil innately has reminds me of one of my favorite true stories:
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or intellectually disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the sound of the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.
The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back……every one of them.
One girl with Down syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.”
Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.
That is true sportsmanship, and I am both thankful and proud to have the opportunity to cheer on our future Special Olympian.
Just as these 9 teammates demonstrated, Wil has the drive to do his personal best, but will not hesitate to stop to lift up a fallen friend. Those teammates may have an “intellectually disabled” label put on them, but I’d say they are darn smart!