Every year, the company my dad works for (New Jersey Manufacturer's Insurance Company) holds two group outings that raise money for Special Olympics New Jersey. We love participating and it has also been fun because Colin's had some great opportunities to participate in throwing out the first pitch.
It's a little bit challenging for us because although we spend a lot of time talking about the day, and despite the fact Colin is really excited for the event, we know and anticipate that he has a hard time in getting on the field. He seems to be more nervous than ever lately when it comes to certain events, especially when there are variables that come into play. For example, he has a very big fear of mascots but leading up to the event he kept saying he was going to be really brave and give Sparky a high five. However, before we even got down there and he saw the mascots, he started getting "that look" and using his buzz word (shouting "poopies!" with translates to mean he wants to go to the bathroom even though he doesn't actually have to go). When we got on the field, he was initially thrashing and crying/screaming "poopies!" because he was so nervous and scared of the mascot. He also did this recently when I took him and Kailey to see Little Mermaid at my high school. Imagine a quiet, dark theater and him shouting "poopies!". Although we know that most people understand, it can still feel a little stressful for Chris and I in the moment because we know he will eventually be ok, but it's initially hard, especially when people are watching. However, Chris did bring up a good point on our way home; he knows exactly which buzz word to use that will make us react immediately (although we have smartened up over this one).
The funny thing was, as soon as he threw the first pitch, the first "person" he ran to was the mascot himself!
Elsa was also there throwing out the first pitch after Colin so they were excited to see her and pose with her.
Now that Cody is getting older and wanting to do what Colin and Kailey are doing, it's interesting to me to do these yearly events to see how much changes after a year. Other than when we were down on the field, he really was pretty good and we were able to sit in our seats more than we ever have before! It was such a fun night and we are thankful to NJM for all they do for Special Olympics NJ!