Noteworthy progress in the community, anecdotes, recommendations, and more

FRIENDS and a very big day

on March 7, 2013

This post could also be referred to as “Why Miss Amber cried like a baby.”

Cookie’s first meet for SO track & field was on Tuesday. I talked to my boss and we decided that I would sit this one out so I could get Benjamin, and so that she could have that “first time at Special Olympics” experience. It is seriously the best feeling ever when you see someone you love with all your heart running for the finish line. The crowd calls out to their athletes, volunteers clap and cheer, and first-time spectators rush forward to the railing to get a better view of their runner as the gun goes off.

You could be the most reserved person in the world and completely lose it at these games. You see these athletes working their rears off to accomplish a goal and ultimately outrun themselves. They strive to do better than their best, and have fun building skill as athletes and valuable team members. That’s when you lose it- screaming, cheering, waving your arms, clapping till your hands sting… it’s part of the experience. When you see your athlete cross the finish line, you have this indescribable rush of joy and feel your entire heart leap out of your chest. You’re ecstatic. You’re part of the Special Olympics, and you couldn’t be prouder.

I met Cookie and their mom at the house after I picked up her brother. She beamed as she held up two second-place ribbons, one for her 50-meter race and one for her softball throw. I praised her and gave her a big hug, and then saw the poster on the table. Her classmates had made her a bright pink sign that said “Good Luck Brooke” with everyone’s signatures on it! I have a picture of it, but my blog hates me right now and it won’t insert properly. I repel technology…

The sign isn’t even the best part.

Her mom showed me a video sent to her from her teacher, as Brookie rode the bus to the meet (riding the bus is the joy of her life). It was shot when Cookie was leaving to get on the bus… I’m still in awe of it all…

The ENTIRE second grade lined up in the hallway on each side and cheered “GO BROOKE, GO BROOKE!” over and over as she walked down the hallway from the classroom. They were clapping and shouting words of encouragement, many stepping out of line to give her a hug. As I watched this, my hand rose to my mouth in shock and my eyes became cloudy with “allergies.” Alright, I’m a crybaby, sue me!

It gets BETTER. That’s right, they can somehow add to the amazing amount that’s already been done to make it even better.

The second video sent from her teacher was of her leaving the front of the school with children on each side of her making a tunnel with their hands. She looked at them like they were crazy until her teacher prompted her by saying “go through the tunnel!” at which point she ducked her head and ran under their hands. The look on her face when she emerged was priceless… She had the biggest grin on her face and you could just see the pride.

The absolute, without a doubt, BEST BEST part of all of this is that these aren’t just random kids from her school. These are her FRIENDS. Her friends were excited because their friend Brooke was going to something called the Special Olympics to compete in events that she had practiced for in school.

FRIENDS. These kids see her and interact with her in class and co-curr. They consider her one of them because they have seen firsthand that they are MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT. They love music, dancing, and silliness. She plays with everybody and sings along to Bieber with all her FRIENDS.


Well, I have to go watch the videos again and cry tears of joy and happiness. Thank you so much for following me and supporting Cookie. We love you from the bottom of our hearts!

From Ear 2 Ear,



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