Friday, September 01, 2006

The Golden Dragons

That is the name of Michael's soccer team this season. In fact,soccer is one of the reasons we have been MIA for a few days. Last week, we had some issues with the fact that there were only two coaches for the 7-8yr old teams. That meant we had about 16-17 kids per team--way too many. So, Mike decided to be a coach. Last Thursday was our first practice, and we only had three kids show was not looking very promising. So,after the first practice we decided Mike did not look very much like a coach with no real equipment and we went out to the Sports Authority last Sunday to get him some cleats,shin guards,clip board, and we outfitted everyone except Nicholas with new shoes. Michael was in desperate need of new shoes--he outgrew his old sneakers,and has moved up to a 13. We spent a small fortune,but we had fun-and now Mike looks official.

All this week we have had kids join up at the last minute, and we have gone from having 10 kids(just enough for a team without subs), to now having 12. Mike has found that he loves coaching, and so far is being pretty good at whipping them into shape(running laps,sprints,and races, and scrimmages). They are pretty pooped by the end of practice. We have recieved good feedback from the parents so far, and they like his style of coaching. I have volunteered as a Team Parent, and have my own duties such as making up snack lists, getting trophies, and helping the coaches remember names(LOL!). Their colors are gold and black, and today they named their team "The GOlden Dragons".

Nick has FINALLY ended his pop-tart eating binge and has moved on to more "normal" fare. We figured out why he would not eat with the dining room light on recently--one of the lights went out a while back and apparently it bugged him so much he refused to eat when we turned it on. I am not kidding, when we turned it on he covered his face and would not move a muscle. Today,Mike fixed the light,turned it on, and Nick looked at it and was eating again!! Who knew??!! He resumes therapy again next week after a three week break, and boy does he need it. He seemed to take a few steps slightly backward, and we need him to move forward. His sleeping has gotten better the past few days (thank the Lord...I was about out of my mind),although we still have nights where it is 10pm before he sleeps, it has not been AS many. Mike and him have a new nap routine now, and I think that has helped. Mike lays down with him in our room and strokes his forehead while Nick is watching the ceiling fan spin. That puts him to sleep in no time. We found some old home videos of Nick when he was just a tiny thing--and he acted so normal. We were staring at the videos searching for the slightest hint that we missed--Mike just kept repeating "I don't see it--I don't see the Autism; he looked at us,interacted, and was smiley...I just don't see it". Somewhere between one and two he just did not progress. We look at him now, and it is such a change between the two. Even before he was diagnosed, we had an inkling that something was different about him. I think one of the real defining moments came last Christmas when he was 22 mos old. He had ZERO interest in the packages under the tree...did not even notice they were there. I just kept thinking "He SHOULD be getting into these...but he is not?!" Something else had also crept up on us--he did not respond to his name; heck; I could sit right behind him, snap my fingers,clap, and do all kinds of things, and he would not even look-or even turn his head. He had also lost the only word he ever said until this point...he had started saying "ma-ma",but by 2yrs old,he had stopped saying anything all together. He had simply failed to progress. It just kind of hurts a bit to see him being such a normal little baby, and thinking about how he might be now if things had taken a different path. But then again, I have fallen in love with all his little quirks, and in a weird way it is his autism that makes him who he is.

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