Now that Will and Luke are 5 years old, they are eligible to play in the Miracle League. This is a baseball league for children with varying abilities. The only real requirement is that the child have an IEP (individual education plan). We have friends - Stara and Joe - who helped to start the league in the Triangle area several years ago, and have been reminding us for several years that THIS is the year the boys can finally play!
We always wanted Will to play in the Miracle League, because he doesn't get many opportunities to be front and center. They play on a baseball field specially made for them. It is totally flat, rubberized turf with bases painted onto it. No bumps, no bases sticking up... perfect for wheelchairs and gait trainers! There are sponsors, ADA dugouts, fan bleachers, and a PA announcer. Each child gets to bat in each inning, no one gets out, and the game ends in a tie. They play every Saturday for the next couple of weeks.
A couple of weeks ago, I told Luke that Will was going to play baseball. He looked a little perplexed. "Mommy, I want to play baseball with Will." Through teary eyes and a wavering smile, I told Luke that of course he could play baseball with Will (he still has an IEP, after all)! I quickly filled out their registration forms and we were on our way. I found out recently that they're going to be joining the Grasshoppers team. Stara and Joe are going to be Will and Luke's buddies - basically every child is assigned a buddy to play with them - so the parents can enjoy watching their child play from the stands.
This Saturday is our first Miracle League gathering - Spring Training! We go to the field, meet Will and Luke's coaches and team mates. Then they get to pick up their uniforms. I think this is probably the thing that Luke is going to be the most excited about. He loves - LOVES - the NY Giants, NY Yankees and Binghamton Senators team gear that he already has.
We're really looking forward to this opportunity for Will and Luke to play baseball together. We aren't sure how many years Luke is going to have an IEP, so it was important to seize this opportunity now! It will be so fun for Nate and me to sit in the stands and watch our boys have fun in a wonderful, accepting, loving environment. I'm thinking of getting Matt a "Grasshopper Bat Boy" team shirt so that he can put on his "uniform" before we head over to the field, just like his big brothers!
So the only thing we're missing is a "walk up" song for each of the boys. This is a song that the announcer plays when each child comes up to the plate. I asked Luke tonight what his favorite song was. "Mommy, I like 'The Days of the Week' and 'The Weather Song.'" Hmmm... so if you have any ideas for the perfect walk up song for each of the boys, feel free to post your suggestions!