This particular Special Olympics is for the kids in special education in San Francisco Unified. There are hundreds of competitors, each one having more fun than then next.
I really love the Parade in the beginning. All the kids line up by school and parade in front of the "crowd." Of course there isn't much crowd with the kids and the teachers all in the parade, but the few parents and supporters in the crowd, along with some kids attending on field trips, cheer wildly.
|It's less scary when she's laughing|
The races are short and hilarious. Here's a 10 second video to give you an idea.
At one moment one of the kids looked like she was going over in her wheelchair. She only teetered and was righted immediately. The students and all the staff were laughing uproariously while I grabbed my heart. I looked up at the one other mom there and she had a hold of her heart too. We laughed when we saw each other. It was the international worried mom's sign.
I have said it before but it needs repeating. If you have the opportunity to attend a Special Olympic event, do it. It will help your heart and you will find yourself smiling over and over again. . You can see Ms. Maggie and her friend Bob definitely enjoy it.
This post is written in memory of Mikaela Lynch, a nine year old special ed student from San Francisco who was found in a creek today after wandering away from her family home on Mother's Day. I didn't know Mikaela, but it is very likely she is in one of those crowd shots at these Special Olympics last Friday. My heartfelt condolences go out to her parents, family, friends and teachers.
Kiss your children, special or otherwise. Tomorrow is never promised.