I have talked about my oldest son Matthew before. He was born missing half his heart and has what is known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Yesterday was a pretty big day for him. It was his very first day on a real baseball team! He joined a special needs baseball team and he has been so excited for his first game!
First let me take a second to explain why this is such a big deal for him. Matthew is delayed some, and also is physically about half the size of most kids his age. Part of that is genetic the other part is due to having half a heart. While other kids were learning to walk, Matthew was just recovering from his two major open heart surgery (and a handful of other corrective surgeries in between). He was being tube fed and lacked the energy or muscle tone to do simple everyday things other kids his age were doing. There were moments when I wondered IF our lives were ever going to feel “normal”, if there would ever be weeks or months that did not involve hospital stays and doctors visits, or watching monitors.
In those days I just WISH I could have seen a tiny glimpse of the sweet, confident boy he has become. It does not seem to bother him one bit that he is a little different. He loves life and loves people. Today as he played with his teammates Matthew just saw a group of friends that wanted to have fun and play a game. He has the beautiful gift to see THEM, not their disability.
If you have never been to a special needs event…. you are missing out. I do not think I have smiled so big in a long time. These kids and coaches know how to enjoy life.