A common struggle in my life is not being jealous when I see other boys Eddie’s age participating in sports, birthday parties, and other “age-appropriate” activities that he shows no interest in doing. My best friend’s son is in Eddie’s class, and I often watch him play sports thinking that Eddie would be doing the same thing if it wasn’t for autism. Honestly, if he had the single disability of visual impairment, I’m sure he’d be up for much more.
Eddie just doesn’t seek out social interaction and certainly would rather not spend time with peers. So, I go to event after event, watching other kindergarteners, and can’t help but think, “What if?” It isn’t that I want Eddie to be somebody different, but I do sometimes crave a normalcy to his childhood that does not exist.
This week, I attended an event and for the first time was not jealous one bit. In fact, the sadness that comes with jealousy was nowhere to be found. I only recognized the idea of being jealous because for once, I just wasn’t at all. This was again at a sports event; watching my friend’s son in wrestling practice. We were in this small building without ventilation that I could discern. There were young boys everywhere sweaty and stinky, and I was so glad I didn’t have to attend this regularly.
It was great watching the boys and their enthusiasm, and they were certainly in their element. I can see why they sign up, and why their parents support it. For once though, I was glad not to be sitting there week after week. When I finally stepped outside, I felt like I had been deprived of fresh air for years. You would think the jealousy might arise due to the camaraderie amongst the boys, but…not so much.
As many of us know, wrestling is a great sport for those with visual impairments. There are many successful blind athletes in the wrestling arena. So, is there a chance I may have a wrestler in the future? I suppose there is always a chance. If he went down that road, I would be his biggest fan. In the meantime, am I grateful to spend my afternoons doing something else with my kids? You better believe it.