The Special Olympics are pretty special

On Monday morning I drove about 30 minutes to the closest bowling alley to attend the Special Olympics competition being held there.  Cody has participated since he was in elementary school and now that he’s a teen, he finally gets the competitive side.  A little bit.  I’m super competitive so any time I have watched my kids compete in something I hold my breath and hope they come out on top.  I am not one of those everyone wins kind of people.  I believe in sporting events there are winners and there are losers.  It’s life.  Period.

There’s something about the Special Olympics that makes it, well, special.  It truly is about having fun.  It’s really difficult not to allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement when it’s written all over the faces of the athletes.  They are proud of the smallest achievement.  For some, it’s as simple as being able to physically walk up, grab a ball, and let it roll down the lane, hoping for a few pins to fall.  If they knock over one pin and turn around with a smile, you can’t help but smile.  It’s really, really special to witness.  You know what else is truly special to witness?  When your son finally gets that strike he talked about the night before.  The strike that he wanted to be one of many, but up until that particular frame it just wasn’t happening. (I’ll be honest, I hate candlepin bowling for just that reason – it’s much harder in my opinion to score a strike).
It was the strike that put a huge smile on his face and brought his arms into the air and his feet above the floor.  He got it.  He got the excitement of how totally awesome this was.  Then he turned and looked in my direction, bent at the knees with his arms pumped, and I felt his excitement, his achievement, his pride.
For all his effort that morning, he earned that blue ribbon you see to your right.  It says first place and as his Mom, who is super competitive, that makes me wanna high-five everyone on the internet (or at least the few who are hopefully reading this).


  1. […] said it before, but it’s worth repeating that if you ever have the time or opportunity to spend a few hours at a Special Olympic event, I promise you will never stop smiling and you will find yourself cheering on athletes for simply […]

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