special olympics basketball

Two weeks ago I got a call from Andy's teacher. Andy had qualified for state in Individual Skills for Basketball. I didn't even know he knew how to play.

The original plan was to have the kids not playing on Friday go to Lettuce Lake Park. But this weird winter brought cold and rain. They spent the afternoon at the mall. Andy found a pair of white sunglasses at Claires. Luckily his teacher did not let him buy them. Especially since they were $20!

There was a bit of lack of communication as to where they were going to stay but did finally get worked out. I had decided to have Andy stay in my room. I thought we would both be more comfortable. As it turns out, it was probably for the best. There were 3 boys assigned to a room with a chaperone. The chaperones are not allowed to sleep in the same bed as a student. So the three boys would share the 2 double beds and the chaperone would get a cot. By having Andy stay with me, Mr Jim didn't have to get a cot. Miss Jessica was not so fortunate. The hotel had run out of cots and provided her with a blow up pool mattress. Yes, the kind you float on in the pool.

The hotel itself was a bit sad. It was an older Holiday Inn turned in a Clarion Hotel. They refurbished the rooms but the place smelled old and stale. The room I had was in the back facing the parking area. I could hear every person that walked by. Every rolling suitcases rolled on the balcony above sounded like a low flying jet. The room had new furniture but old wiring. There were four outlets in the room. One was by the sink, one was behind the dresser and had an adapter to house the TV, a lamp, the mini fridge and the microwave. A third outlet was behind the bed and held two lamps and the alarm clock. The fourth outlet was in the corner by the less-than-easy chair. It was in the opposite corner from the desk. It was the only place to plug in the laptop.

The hotel had wireless. Weak wireless but at least it worked on the laptop. The connection was to slow for the iPhone but the 3G worked well enough. Andy was happy to surf on YouTube for Jeopardy videos.

I knew Andy would not like the planned dinner. It would be crowded and noisy and no choice of meal. Andy opted for Chick Fil A. But first we had to stop at Target to get some juice. Andy picked out a new hat and looked at some of the new Toy Story 3 toys. He wants a new Buzz for his birthday.

We went to the Chick Fil A that we normally don't go to. It is the newer one and has more room. I let Andy play in the kids area because he usually doesn't cause a problem. He knocked over someone's drink and she complained. She said he was too big but said she didn't know she couldn't bring in drinks. Right. Andy stayed out after that and there was no problem.

It must have been a busy day, Andy was in bed by 8:45, asleep & snoring by 9:15. Unfortunately, the teens which were part of a Leadership Conference were up past midnight, running around and laughing. I had not slept with Andy in a few years. He now snores. And he is a bed hog. I had to put the sheet under my hip to keep him from stealing it. But every time he rolled over, it pulled and woke me up. At 4 am, the person next door started the shower and woke us up. Andy sat straight up in bed. He managed to get back to sleep but I pretty much dozed on and off until 6 am.

We had no chance to sleep in. I got up at 6 to shower. I had moved the shower head the night before so it wouldn't spray in Andy's face. I went to move it back and it came off in my hand. Nice. Now I had a strong stream of water with no control. Breakfast was from 7 until 7:30 when the bus would take them to USF. The hotel café was crowded and the line too long. Andy didn't want to eat, which I had expected. I didn't want to eat either. It was the typical buffet fare of rubbery eggs and greasy sausage served on foam plates with plastic silverware. After the bus left, I packed up and checked out. If I had the time, I would have opted for a nicer breakfast but it seems that I was in for a junk-food weekend and went to Chick Fil A.

I got to the Rec Center but they didn't have much direction inside. There were two gyms being used, opposite ends of the center, one upstairs and one downstairs. I eventually found them and Andy was happy to see me. Like the Bowling event, this was organized chaos. Lots of people wandering about. I also had problems getting anything decent with my camera. Gymnasiums are a nightmare. I wish I had learned to use my flash or at least had remembered to use my diffuser for the pop-up flash.

There were 3 events; shooting, passing and dribbling. Andy had fun but wasn't really trying. He is not competitive. He started to get anxious with all the noise and no freedom to wander. I gave him his iPod which helped some. They do each event twice and Andy was ready to leave before he finished everything just once. I took a video with my iPhone and that made him happy. Then I shot video for the events and he did try a bit harder. At least he wasn't disappointed that he made no baskets.

Once he was done with everything, we were allowed to leave. It was only 10 am but he wanted to eat lunch at Chick Fil A. I drove leisurely so we only had to wait a few minutes before they started serving lunch at 10:30 am. He must had been hungry, he ate 12 nuggets and a large fry. We got a phone call that he had one a silver medal. Huh.

Originally, we were told he would be staying for two nights. They shortened this year. We are both glad. He was very happy to go home.