a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Awareness and Baseball!

Four years ago this month I posted a note on facebook that eventually turned into starting a blog. I wasn't real sure about blogging at first, but it has really helped me to track our progress and it's almost like free therapy! HA! I went back and re-read that first post and a few others. It's just amazing to me how far we have come in 4 years. The fear of possible encounters and challenges is still there but the knowledge and know how of what to do to handle it has come a long way. I sure don't always get that right and there are many days that I still handle things the wrong way, there are still days that I ask God "why", there are some days that I want to just smack a few folks in the face and shake them and tell them what I think about them or what I think about their reaction towards Ty or treatment etc ... but I would like to think, for the most part, we have learned a lot and have done our best to get the boys involved in as much as possible and have created our own "normal" if you want to call it that.

Speaking of our own "normal", it's baseball season and if you know me then you know I absolutely love baseball - correction I love softball - but I have boys, so now I love baseball! ha! Who knew that could change?! Last year Tripp played T-ball and it was just a little circus and fun and crazy, kids running everywhere and lots of laughs and happy thoughts and everyone got a trophy and no one won or lost. Well this year he is playing 6-year old ball. So they keep score. I didn't think that would make much of a difference in my actions from the stands.... yeah, I was wrong. Those that know me and have played any sport or any game for that matter with me, well you know what happened at that first ball game. I'm sitting in a chair with Ty taking pics of Tripp through the fence, and then the game starts. Our team batted first so I was still very calm until Tripp got up to bat, it was crazy, I wanted him to hit the ball like we practiced (my heart was racing and I was praying "Lord, let him hit it" seriously... praying) but he didn't - he struck out and was ok, he still had a grin on his face and ran to the dug out to get his glove and hit the field. So he goes to third base (my favorite spot so I was extra excited)! A ball is hit just barely rolling through 3rd and short and onto the grass behind them and they just stare at it. All of us parents are yelling "get the ball!" and the kids are just staring at each other like "no you can have it, no it's your turn you get it" - no urgency whatsoever, meanwhile the other team is clearing the bases .... my softball dug out voice came out more than once during that inning and the rest of the game for that matter. Then off I go to the dugout fence once he came in: "Tripp, buddy, you gotta get the ball and get the other team out ok" ... Tripp says "oh, ok, can I have a gatorade" ... insert your favorite Brian Regan joke here. Well he goes back out to third and there are two outs with runners on 1st and 2nd and the ball is hit straight to him (sam is coaching behind third base) and Tripp catches the ball and runs and tags his base and we all go nuts!? He ran in from that out like he had just hit a grand slam, his face was beaming and had a grin from ear to ear and he was passing out high-5's like he'd been doing this all his life lol. At this point the other team is crushing us 6 to 1 ... but we ended up coming back through some comical base running and non-intentional bunts and the final score was 10-7 - we lost ... but they had fun! As I was walking with Ty to the car I just thought "yeah I guess I will be that mom" but I didn't even care. And it made me think, how many times does God look at us and watch us strike out, or play by the wrong rules and run the wrong way, fumble around with whatever life is throwing us and instead of just swooping in and taking over - he lets us do it. He may be yelling from the fence but He lets us learn. He lets us experience those moments of accomplishment when the crowd goes wild. He lets us experience striking out and that encouragement of "maybe I'll get it next time" after, so that we will grow. So that He can shape us. We won't always get it right but it doesn't mean He gives up on us.

That brings me to Ty and the Miracle League. If you don't know what this is, it's a baseball program that allows kids and adults with disabilities play baseball their way. A rubber field for easy play for everyone, real uniforms, coaches, etc and everyone has a "buddy" to help them play. The Miracle League is a wonderful thing. I want Ty to always have access to everything Tripp does but baseball isn't one of those things that I can just sign him up for. I mean he would probaly have just as much interest as half of the kids playing in Tripp's league but for safety concerns and other reasons it's just not smart for me to sign up Ty for "regular 7 year old baseball" and so that's why I am thankful for the Miracle League. It allows us to try new things without too much extra stress. Ty didn't have alot of interest in batting or fielding last year and we struggled to play two innings but this year we have been practing more. He was chasing balls and bringing them back to me when Tripp was batting yesterday, so now we just have to work on his interest with a bat and a T?! We can do this! ha. I am really excited to see how he does this year! He has really been into watching Tripp practice and I am sure he thought I had completely lost my mind at the ballgame monday?! But I think the interest and his willingness to somewhat follow our instructions is there?! Who knows maybe he will grab a hold of it and love it!? There is only one way to find out. But most of all I love that the miracle league gets families together and allows the kids and adults to be the center of attention for a good reason. Not because of a tantrum or because they have special equipment. Nope. Just to be the center of attention, and the center of cheers as they play ball. That thrills my soul in a way that I really can't explain.

All of that to say, life is crazy. There are so many times that we take over and do things our way or we get mad because things just don't seem fair and we mess up regularly. But God is bigger than that. Jesus is bigger than autism and He is bigger than any battle we are facing and anything we are chasing (I love that song by the way). Even though you may think this isn't where I thought I'd be - He already knew and He knows that plans He has for you. Just keep seeking Him. He's got this. :)

Thanks for reading! love yall. If you're in McComb on a saturday come see us play!

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