|It's a great day for battle!|
Because the weather cooperated (for once) and Raine needed the car to do last minute baby shower things (not that everything we do has to be last minute, it just seems to work out that way most of the time) Dave and I geared up and rode the motorcycle to WBHS (Western Beaver High School) for the festivities. If you've read any of these things you might remember that we've had the occasional problem with showing up on time (like every time) or had problems with the weather, (also every time) but this trip both time and the environment were seemingly cooperating. We even had time for a burrito break (we needed energy, I was told) When that much is going right, something's got to give, so I guess I should have foreseen a problem with the parking people. What the lady wanted me to do was drive my 482.8 pound 7 1/4 foot long (I looked it up) bike into the field with the 4 wheeled conveyances and rest it, on the soft earth with its 2 square inch kickstand pad. That's a recipe for a hernia. As anyone who's tried to sit on a 4 legged chair in the backyard knows, as soon as the weight hits the legs it's gonna sink. Not wanting to come back after the competition to find my motorcycle laying on its side like an old dog, I objected. After a brief discussion on weight displacement
theory we were allowed to park on the asphalt.
|We're never letting Ashley out.|
There was some confusion about Dave's first event. He's normally in the Soft Ball Toss, the 50 meter run, and the Standing Long Jump. Has been for the last decade. Having no idea of the true destructive power of my son, someone decided he should throw an 18 pound steel weight around, probably because a softball just doesn't have enough potential for excessive damage. We were already over at the SBT when I finallylooked at his competition tag and saw 'shotput' instead of 'soft(ie:safer)ball'. I immediately dragged my son back to the grandstand area and tried to get this 'typo' corrected, only to find out that it was no typo. So I took David to the exact opposite side of the event so that he could hurl cannonballs around and scatter the (hopefully) fleeing populace.
There are two things you need to know about Dude. 1: Because of his underdeveloped right thumb he ends up doing many things with his left hand, but David is actually right-handed. 2: Because of his genetic make-up David is an incorrigible ham-bone. (stop laughing Raine!) So when it came time to hurl the 'Sphere of Death' (shotput) he naturally cradled it in his right hand and let it go. I was slightly ahead of him (but well out of the line of fire) and on his left side. When he made his throw, it turned his body and he saw me
|Is this going to make the cover?|
Next up was the 50 meter run. But along the way I had to try to look for Ashley to, I thought, teach her about her camera. Once again travelling with a rockstar worked out for me, and she found us. 'Cause she wasn't where she said she was going to be, and there was no way I was going to be able to find her. Turns out she just wanted one setting explained and once I did that (with Dude tugging me toward the track, 'Got to run the race and get the medal!) I let him drag me over to the 'Almost ready to start waiting to get into the line to start the race' line. There was a nice young girl there left alone to the tender mercies of quite a few more parents than I usually see 'buddying' an event. Oh... and they had no mercy. They badgered her about starting times, heats, kids and who knows what-all else until the poor girl was completely frazzled.
|Notice him eyeing the Starting Lady, and her, eyeing him.|
|Turbo Boost activated!|
|I got this!|
We finally got him corralled and over toward the line of chairs they have for the runners. The theory is that one woman sits the contestants down in the order in which they finished and then the other lady hands out the medals in that order. It's a wonderful system... until Dude gets involved. He was in no way prepared to wait for his heat's turn to sit in the 'Thrones of Victory' and immediately tried to roust the winner of the last heat out of 'his' chair. I grabbed him by the shoulder and distracted him for the time it took the 'medal lady' to hand out the awards. The 'sitting lady' immediately called his name, and like the conquering hero that he was, he strutted over to his chair and sat down.
He waited (fairly) patiently for the 'medal lady' to place his accolade around his neck, but once she had and while she was placing the, no doubt lesser, awards on the others he leaned back in his chair like an old campaigner, kicked one leg over the other and said loudly enough to be heard in that chaos, 'Want to know MY strategy? Come on up and I'll tell you all about it!' I almost dropped my camera I was laughing so hard
|Want to hear my winning strategy?|
We made our way over to the Standing Long Jump, Mrs Jacobs, at least I still think that's her name, (I hope so, anyway, that's what I called her) is Ashley's aunt, so we had another visit from her while we were there, and yet another blatant attempt to get me to post her picture here.(what can I say? I'm a soft touch) Due to Dude's Superstar status, as soon as it was recognized that he was in their midst they immediately started asking around for the other members of his heat, and once they were all rounded up they started the show.
At the SLJ this year they had this older gentleman helping out, and it wasn't fair. He was totally having more fun than the kids. And they were having a blast. This guy coached each kid, counting them down and coaching them to help them with their jumps, and he was just having too much fun, swinging his arms on the count and encouraging each one to do their best. Dude wasn't sure what to make of this guy, but he was enjoying the 'show'. He was so mesmerizing that Dude completely forgot his usual ham-bone warm ups before his first two jumps. But he couldn't deny himself totally, for the last jump he squatted very low, his arms jet-planed behind him and then he shot up and out into the air and almost out-jumped his ability to land. But unfortunately (sort of) he went way up but not way
|Ready for take-off!|
So another Special Olympics was in the books. David and I returned to the Virago, we geared up, and headed home, making kind of an Olympic record, as the round-trip was the furthest we'd ever ridden the bike together. He had been so good at the Games, and also had obtained the requisite smileys during the week, so we stopped at GameStop on the way home and got him a game worthy of his Medal winning status.
While we were at the Games, I'd offered a couple of times to hold his medals while he competed. Dude would not be parted with his hardware for love nor money. Once we got home, however, he immediately shucked his medals off and headed for the shelf. I tried to slow him down, 'Hang on, man. What are you doing?' He looked at me like I'd just arrived from another planet. 'You take the medals home and they go on the shelf.' Knowing how proud he'd been of them all day, I tried again, 'Uh, don't you want to show them to Raine?' 'No.' he calmly replied, 'Medals go on the shelf when you get home, remember?' As if I'd forgotten in the last 12 seconds. Evidently if Raine wanted to see his medals she'd either have to look on the shelf, or be at home to fete him in the oldest 'Conquering Hero' fashion. I shook my head. 'Dude, put the medals on the table and go play your game.' He placed the hardware on the coffee table with a doubtful expression on his face. But the lure of a new game was too much for him, and he went. When Raine got home later, he came down to show them and seemed all proud again. And then he put them on the shelf with all the other ones. I think he just wanted to make sure that the two 'old folks' didn't forget where medals go when you get home.