This blog post was written by Kathy Hooven, mother to a son with autism. You can read more about Kathy and her family on her blog, "The AWEnesty of Autism." You can also follow her on Facebook.
My son, Ryan sang the National Anthem — for the first time, solo! — for Challenger Day, which is a huge event to celebrate our local Challenger's Baseball League. This is a league for local kids with autism and various other disabilities that want to play baseball, but would struggle to make a typical Little League Team. This team is actually going to the Little League World Series to play a game in August, so it is a pretty big deal. The kids are inspiring, the coaches are patient, the parents are beaming, but, as for Mother Nature, well, the words I have for her aren't Facebook friendly.
The weather yesterday was awful... cold, wind, and even a few showers. Ryan is not a fan of any of those three weather elements. Then to top it off, there was trouble with the wireless microphone. A few years ago, Ryan would have fallen apart. He would have been overwhelmed with things not going "as I expect they should". Not yesterday. His courage and bravery astounded me and the folks in attendance at the game.
The director apologized profusely, but, as you can see at the end of the video, Ryan was thrilled with his performance!
Here is the video of Ryan singing. Although it was cold, windy and the microphone kept cutting in and out, my boy sang his beautiful heart out. This video doesn't do justice to Ryan's voice, but, my goodness does it ever showcase his courage, his strength and his progress. A few years ago the wind, the cold and the tech problems would have beaten him, but, not today.
In his best Youtuber Pink Sheep voice, Ryan came off the field and scripted, "I told you I would not let the cold beat me."
Ha. Take that, Mother Nature.