Saturday, April 30, 2011

Project 365: Tornado's Triumph

(I skipped April 29, but I will get back to that when I have more time. I wanted to post these pictures today, though, for those who weren't able to be there.)

Saturday, April 30

This is the weekend for our big town festival. (It's called Toad Suck Daze!) Tornado brought a note home awhile back, saying he'd qualified for the Crawl, Drag, & Squirt competition put on by the fire department. (There is a preliminary round at the different elementary schools in town to see who will compete in the finals at Toad Suck.) He seemed proud that he'd gotten this letter with "Congratulations!" included in it. I was surprised this was something he wanted to participate in - physical competitions are usually a nightmare for him - but I was glad and encouraging.

When they first called his name, he happily put on the fireman coat and took his place. When the fireman ran out to the starting point with him, Tornado...kept on running back through the crowd, returning to the tent, and burying himself behind a trunk. Yeah, buddy, if I wasn't so concerned with appearances, that's probably what I'd do, too, when faced with standing in front of a crowd!

However, he declared he DID want to do it, (This is a common conflict within my 10 year old son; he often WANTS to do something - it's just really difficult for him to go through with it.) so he went back out there and gave it another shot...

...with a big smile on his face the whole time.

He did great! "Firefighter training" tasks included crawling through the tunnel, dragging a dummy to safety, running around fire hydrants, hammering a moveable weight and spraying the fire hose at a target. (What kid wouldn't want to spray a fire hose?)

nearing the finish line

How great for my son to experience success with a crowd of cheering people and high-fives from firemen.

This was a day of TRIUMPH for my son. He overcame a fear. And he felt good about himself.

All of the kids who qualified for today's race earned a medal, but there were only a certain number of trophies given out.

I had told Tornado not to expect a trophy because only some of the kids were going to get one. He was sooo excited when they called his name. And going up there to accept his trophy was another triumph. (Loud, overstimulating situations aren't always easy for him, and there have been plenty of times he has declined an honor or privilege because it became overwhelming to him.)

I think he warmed the hearts of a few of the firemen who gave him high-fives again after he got his trophy. One remarked, "That smile!" The firefighters and volunteers were sooo kind and patient and fun. We love that they do this for the kids.

Congratulating Big Brother...later tonight, out of the blue, Sissy remarked to me (alone) something like, "I'm proud of (him) for running the race and getting a trophy."

We ARE proud of you, Big Guy!


dirtyduck said...

CONGRATULATIONS from Arizona!!!what a great day!!big happy smiles are one of my favorite things in the whole world, keep on doing it!

Cary said...

Love him!
I was crying the whole time I read that. I'm so proud.

kdguice said...

Such a great story, and SUCH a great smile!

OneMommy said...

He looks like he had so much fun! Good job to him for finishing the race and getting the trophy!
Thanks for stopping by my site the other day!

JJHB said...

That was a great story! I'm so happy for him (and you too!). What a fun time he looks like he had and I love the picture of his brother and sister congratulating him...precious!