The fall Miracle League season is upon us. We had great weather and a great turnout for our first game. Luke and Will rejoined their friends and coaches on the Grasshoppers.
Luke was in his glory at the ballpark. His usual buddy (Aunt Stara) was away this week so he had to make due with a substitute buddy. Lucky for Luke, the volunteer group this week were college students from NC State, and he picked himself a cute 20 year old girl buddy. He's a smart kid. He had a great time at bat, and ran himself two in-the-park home runs for his two at-bats. He also played pitcher again this week, and really seems to understand that his job is to field ground balls and throw them to first base. He doesn't really matter to him that there usually isn't a first baseperson and there are actually no outs in Miracle League.
We started playing Miracle League to have a place where Will could have fun and enjoy baseball... having Luke play too was a bonus. Unfortunately, Will is making it pretty obvious week in and week out that he doesn't enjoy playing baseball. He cries when we get to the ballpark and isn't happy for the duration of our time there. We've tried different buddies (Uncle Joe and Oma have given it a valiant effort), we've tried his wheelchair and his gait trainer and him being held up on the field by Oma. We've given thought to headphones but we know he'd be mad about them and try to knock them off his head. I'm debating trying foam ear plugs this coming weekend, since he won't be able to knock those off. What really seems to set Will off is the sound of the announcer and the sharp sound of an audience clapping. And you can't really stop the cheers and clapping when you're surrounded by a wonderful group of accepting, postive, and supportive Miracle League friends and family.
If the foam ear plugs don't work, I am not sure exactly what we try next. Do we keep trying? We spent the spring season with a screaming Will. I thought he would warm up to the ballpark by now, but at some point I start to ask myself if we're torturing him with baseball. Is it worth it? It is against my nature to give up or quit... but at some point, is it ok to throw in the towel... knowing you gave it your best try? Why do I feel so much guilt about even having that thought?!