Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

When the dangling carrot is spoiled

Angela has been swimming 3-5 days a week since September. She has busted her little butt, to go from afraid to put her face in the water, and not being able to maintain body temperature past 20 minutes, to swimming independently 1/2 the length of the pool, and kick-boarding the entire length AND back, and working on strokes for an hour and a half at a shot (which exhausts her, but she does it.) All in just a few short months.

The past month or more has been tough to get her out the door to the pool. She's often the only kid her age there swimming with a couple older teens/adults who she doesn't interact with. We've had friends call to say they're going to be there, which gets Angela all excited only to have them not show. We've had promises of exciting things AFTER practice, which I've been able to use to get her out the door as well, only to have them fall through. (though I usually try not to tell her about good stuff until we're practically out the door for them for this very reason!)

But today was the worst....

For a month I've been dangling the area Special Olympics swim meet in front of her. The BIG DEAL of opening ceremonies. The day all her extended family was going to come watch her swim, and watch her stand on the podium to receive the coveted ribbon. The day to show off all the hard work she's put in these past 6 months.

So we get to the meet, and I need times so I can call the aunties and let them know what time to show up to watch Angela. Angela is anxious and excited. She's beaming and greets her coach with a hug. We're new to this team, so she doesn't know very many people, but she greets them anyway of course.

We look at the schedule, and don't see Angela listed anywhere. The coach is confused. The person who handled all the entries for the team isn't there yet, but surely she'll have it straightened out. The woman arrives, and I've never seen her before in my life. She doesn't recognize us either. She said she never received Angela's paperwork. I reminded her of the day she was not at practice because of a sick relative and another person was taking registrations. I handed it to that person. No..she never got it. Angela isn't registered for any events today, and no, the won't add her on. This also means she can't participate in the state meet next month.

Getting her out the door for the rest of the season is going to be tough. She's not going to want to go. What for? In her eyes, what's in it for her?

I tried really hard to contain my anger this morning, and my tears. I know how disappointed Angela is going to be, and frankly, I'm just as disappointed myself. My child DESERVED to stand and get that flippin ribbon like everyone else. She has worked so hard. And HELLO!!! I have given up 3-5 nights per week to GET HER THERE!!!! I think my silence, and the death stares that accompanied them, spoke volumes to all involved. We walked out without saying a word of goodbye. Angela was silent on the way home. I looked in the rear view mirror, to see her staring out the window, one solitary tear rolling down her cheek.


Tricia said...

I am SO sorry. I can't believe they couldn't figure out a way to make an exception--afterall it was THEIR fault! I hope Angela keeps up the swimming.

Leah said...

Thanks Tricia. Part of the reason they couldn't fit her in is there are only so many lanes in a pool, and there are about 300 athletes swimming in todays events.

Kathie Brinkman said...

I'm sooo sorry too. Keene was very upset about it too. There were no opening ceremonies and the races were ahead of schedule. We practically missed Katie's two afternoon races. Things weren't very organized on a team level for out team. I agree that Angela deserved to be there. She had worked very, very hard. Why can't they put her in for state? That is wrong. And I'm sorry for letting you and Angela down for the times when we promised to be at practice and then didn't show up--because I couldn't MY kids out the door. I know that is very frustrating. I'll try hard not to ever do that to you all again. Would you and Angela please forgive us for disappointing her?

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Oh man, how completely heartbreaking! It seems like there must have been SOMETHING that could have been done... even if there were only a limited amount of lanes. *sigh* That just sucks!

Christina said...

That totally stinks Leah! :( They should have tried to fit her was OBVIOUS that she had been practicing!

AZmomto8 said...

Oh I feel so sad for her right now, poor Angela, I can feel her disappointment just reading this post.