Last week we made another bold move and signed the seven-year-old up for Miracle League baseball. Miracle League is an organization that runs baseball leagues for children with disabilities. Rotary Clubs are heavily involved and sponsor many of the leagues, including ours. Everything is free--the games are staffed by volunteers and all the kids get free uniforms and photos.
His first game was last Saturday. It took about an hour to get uniforms passed out and pictures taken before they went outside to the field. That was tough; they had to wait in a crowded gym, and the seven-year-old doesn't like crowded, noisy spaces. But he made it through without having a meltdown. He was even willing to put on the uniform.
Once they got out onto the field, every child gets a buddy who stays with them throughout the game. The seven-year-old's buddy was a silver-haired gentleman who looked like he might be in his early sixties. The game consisted of a single inning. Every child on each team gets an at-bat, and stays at bat until they get a hit. Some kids were able to swing on their own, either at the pitch or on a tee. Others had their buddy hold the bat with them hand-over-hand to swing. The seven-year-old's buddy held the bat hand-over-hand and basically swung for him.
I got a little worried when the brought out the batting helmet. The seven-year-old doesn't like anything to touch his head. There was a brief attempt at putting the helmet on him, and then the buddy took it and put it on his own head. I started forward to help, but they got it resolved before I got to the plate.
I don't think the seven-year-old had any concept of what was going on around him, but he got to be outside, and his buddy did a nice job of entertaining him. They spent a while jumping up and down in line, and then the seven-year-old was playing the the lanyard of his buddy's umbrella.
It was a reasonably successful morning. We're going to keep taking him and see how it goes.