After William’s first gymnastics group session, I walked over to the instructor and asked (trying not to completely lose it emotionally), “So how did he do?” The instructor began to list off a few skills that needed attention. “His cartwheel needs a little work and we will work on his bridge next week but overall, he did quite well for his first day.”
Sounds pretty good, right? And yet, those skills were far from my mind when I walked up to the instructor that day.
“No, no” I said… “I mean how did HE do? How was his behavior? Did he wait in line ok? Was he nice to others? Did he understand your instructions? Was his stimming a distraction? Did he slap Billy’s bulbous head?
Deep furrows in his brow appeared and then turned soft again, “Oh, yep he did just fine.”
He had no idea what this day meant for us, for William, for me!!
He had finally broken through to the “other” side… where group activities and after- school sports to typical kids are simply second nature.
For two years I sat in a chair and watched William do private lessons. It’s the only thing we could do at the time…the only thing HE could handle. Don’t get me wrong, some days were awesome and with the help of an amazing Kung fu instructor, William learned quite a bit. <smile>
When he was five, we walked through a heavy black door and entered a room full of parents and other five year olds. I was told this was a great instructor and that I should give this, Kung fu, a shot. After class began, within the first five minutes, disaster hit. William was running around, cutting in line, laughing at inappropriate times, pulling hair, and I think he spit on someone. As I gathered up my belongings, with Margaret in tow, I approached the inevitable… we were going home… case closed.
It must have been my defeated red eyes. He must have taken pity on me. He offered to work with him privately. This was good news in my “spiraling downhill, give me a full glass of adult beverage kind of day.” This was something.
For months, we would drive, enter through the heavy door, and be finished within five minutes. Five minutes was what he could handle.
After a year, the five turned into twenty-five and I was ecstatic.
During those private sessions, a hundred and ten to be exact, I still yearned for a group experience for him. William was practicing, learning, and sweating all for something more than just skill…. he was preparing for “the group.”
Watching him now from the dirty gymnastics bleachers, I see a boy waiting in line. I see a boy taking turns with others. I see a boy attending to his surroundings.
I see a boy happy to be with others.
With work and perseverance, you will be in a better place than you were before.
Think Big…what do you have to lose?
To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”. Or find them on YouTube. To contact TheFowler4 Group email: firstname.lastname@example.org