May sledding yesterday was partially inspired by these two boys who I wrote about today on the BabyCenter Blog. Being the kind of sappy, sentimental type, their story – orginally written about on this Sport Illustrated Kids Blog – had me blubbering like a baby. Here’s my take on their story:
Connor Long refused to believe his younger brother, Cayden, couldn’t compete in sports with him. That Cayden can not walk or talk was not a deterrent in Connor’s eyes. Why should it be? The two boys were named 2012 SportsKids of the Year by Sports Illustrated Kids because of Connor’s determination to include his brother, and his brother’s complete enthusiasm to join in.
They had a simple vision: to race together. The other children on the list read like a Who’s Who of ambitious young children – top of their sports nationally, National Honors students and volunteers to boot. They sound incredible. Connor and Cayden compete in triathlons and fun runs – 14 to date – on a local level. They don’t have a stack of medals to their names.
Glorifying sports heroes only goes so far. Kudos to Sports Illustrated Kids for naming – not a top athlete – but two everyday kids to their highest honor. And, for naming both boys, proving that it really is the taking part that matters. As Sports Illustrated Kids explain, “For [Connor], these races are just a chance for him and his little brother to have some fun.”
Yesterday, we took my kids out to a local park, blanketed with snow. My toddler, Ieuan, had never tried sledding. He went down the hill once, then a second time – a smile the size of the hill behind him on his face.
“Let’s try May,” I said, gesturing to my disabled daughter – who like Cayden can not walk or talk – and was wrapped up in blankets, stuck in her stroller. Admittedly, it hadn’t occurred to me until that moment that maybe she woud enjoy the rush of the wind on her cheeks and the rough vibration of the snow beneath her.
I trudged up the hill with her and, assisted by a friend, climbed in behind her. “Whoooo!” I cried and we ripped down the hill. May’s mouth fell open and a flood of laughter poured out. Here she is a second time, racing down with her daddy. And a big thank you, to Connor and Cayden, for reminding me that May is mighty happy to be taking part.