The Basketball Breakthrough

Move over Michael Jordan. Step aside Shaq. There’s a new boy on the court… We call him Air ‘C’ .

With a pocketful of deflated balloons as reinforcers, hubby and I and the two kids headed out last night to a special needs basketball clinic at the middle school, sponsored by our SEPTA. We’ve learned from past experiences with social outings, not to expect too much, so that we don’t get too disappointed.

But that hope…the hope that you may have finally hit upon something social that your child will love and thrive in…is always there. A flicker that’s waiting to be fanned into a flame.

Well, last night on the basketball court, there was a freakin five alarm fire, baby!

Really, it was one of those jaw-droppers. ‘C’ went into the gym in a strange school with only a minute’s hesitation. Once the strange coach took out a bag of balls, ‘C’ ran over to them, picked one up, and proceeded to take our breath away for the next 90 minutes. He even threw stray balls back to other kids!

During this magical clinic… when time stood still for my husband and me… we watched as ‘C’ did drills, including bounce passing to a partner, and dribbling the ball all along the perimeter of the court. There were times when they had to stop and come over to the coach and sit and listen, and then get up and do what they were just told. Lots of transitions…not normally C’s strong point.

And the boy can shoot!!! This skinny, 6 year old pip-squeak can actually get the ball into the net–the regulation size height! One shot after another. Repeatedly. Nothin’ but net! Holy crap! Who knew??!! There he was with his newly issued basketball shirt hanging off him, handling the ball like he was born to. Every successful shot brought a leaping high-five and a smile so wide that it barely fit on his cute little face! He was “the man” and he knew it! 

He was happy and relaxed in the middle of a strange place full of strangers. He didn’t need the balloons. It was his moment to shine. The pride we felt for him as his family at that moment can’t even be expressed.

And as we left the gym and walked into the crisp night air, my little man of few words summed up what we all were feeling…

“I love middle school, Mom”.

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