June 9, 2012
Special Olympics.... training for everyone has been worth it!
~post from Lexy, Mac's mom~ Russ and I just returned from the Wisconsin State Summer Special Olympics. It is held every year in Stevens Point on the campus there. It is fitting as this is the place where Russ and I met. It was the 40th anniversary of Special Olympics - amazing! Amazing work by lots of people!! This is a trip that Russ and I have dreamed about making as a family.... not quite sure when or how that would happen... until we met Jeff, Lisa & Cooper. I feel like we have all been in "training" for this moment. Cooper has been training since he was 10 weeks old. We have been training with Cooper, Jeff & Lisa since January 2012. Mac has been training for the track and field events since March 1, 2012. This would be the weekend where we could all shine. This was the first State meet for ALL of us. Russ and I thought it was important to try this trip on our own. No family, no trainers, no support.... just us and the boys and Cooper! A little overwhelming - but we were up for the challenge. Our trip started on Thursday after lunch when we left for UW-Stevens Point. We got to the hotel and got settled. The boys quickly wanted to head to the swimming pool that included one large slide! We went to eat dinner - something we have not been able to do as a family - and had a nice dinner at one of our favorite places, Arbuckles! If you got to Point, this is a must and you MUST get the cheese fries.... This was followed by Opening Ceremonies. What an amazing, heart felt moment for all of us. We walked in with our team, Oregon Panthers. Mac was anchored to Cooper and was able to tolerate the large crowd, loud music, and all the clapping. He enjoyed walking in and high giving the volunteers that lined the sides. The speakers were still a little to overwhelming for him, so we moved to the back - and that was okay. It was a beautiful night! The following morning Mac competed in the softball throw. He got 2nd place and since this was his first state meet he didn't know about the medals. His face lit up when the police officer placed that around his neck!! PRICELESS!! WE visited the gym where Russ played basketball. Ran into one of his coaches and got some UW Pointer gear! :) We went to a wonderful park, then back to the hotel for more swimming!! We had dinner in and then to bed to get ready for Saturday! Got up on Saturday, to head to the final competition for Mac. He ran the 100 m dash. He got 3rd place and was awarded his medal today by Mrs. Wisconsin :) We sat in the shade while I got us a few T-shirts and then we visited the dorm that Russ lived in - haha!! Then back in the car and headed home. We were together as a family for 48 hours with no "back up" and no "support." This is the first time that the 4 of us have ever traveled as a family. We believe the majority of this is due to Cooper.... Having Mac anchored to Cooper to prevent any running has proven to be a greater gift to us than we realized. We did not know how much worry and stress we carried while out in places where Mac could run away. Now - with Cooper - there is no worry. What a gift... Mac's bond has surprised us as well. He talks a lot to Cooper. He talks a lot about Cooper. On the way home, he took of both of his medals and said "I love you Cooper." And put the medals on Cooper's neck! SO, SO, SO cute and precious! When Mac goes to bed, he says "C'mon Cooper." We get into bed, turn off the lights and he says, "I love you Cooper. Good night Cooper." And with that I say.... Jeff and Lisa, We love you. Thank you for this gift to our family. Good night.