Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Dance Moms (Almost) Meets Special Olympics

posted Wednesday March 28th, 2012

Just how seriously should I be taking this Special Olympics thing?

In some ways, it’s quite professional and rigid. Sophie’s first track & field meet is this Saturday, and two weeks ago we were warned not to miss practice; times would be taken and heats arranged. So we were there, and Sophie did her javelin and running events. Even set a personal record in javelin.

Then the roster came home this week, showing her registered for the softball throw, not javelin. She’s never done the softball throw; she’s practiced for months with her PE teacher at school on the javelin. I scanned the document, knowing what I’d see before I saw it.

Yep, they’d swapped Sophie’s name with another little girl’s. This little girl, who is also in third grade at Sophie’s school, is an awesome kid. She and Sophie are nothing alike — and yet, of course, to much of the world, they are. Two girls with glasses and straight brown-ish hair. And Down syndrome.

I fought hard not to think evil thoughts toward the sweet (but a little disorganized — maybe overwhelmed?) Special Olympics coaches. But I couldn’t help it. The other little girl had been practicing the softball throw with her dad at home. She hadn’t been measured at the javelin; so much, I thought for all that professionalism and the fancy track meet talk.

But mostly what bothered me was the feeling that Sophie and the little girl had been confused for one another. Again. It happens all the time at school — where you’d expect it.

You wouldn’t expect — at least, I wouldn’t have expected it — to happen at Special Olympics. Celebration of differences and all that. “Eunice Shriver would be horrified!” a friend (sort of) joked when I told him.

Sophie is two heads shorter than the other little girl. Sophie’s got bangs, the other girl does not. The other little girl is a pro on the monkey bars, which Sophie’s never touched. Sophie is into Olivia the Pig; as far as I know, the other girl could care less about pigs. Both girls do love Justin Bieber. That is true.

Of course, no one at Special Olympics knows all this. They’ve only seen Sophie and the other little girl at practices — by far the two smallest kids there — hanging out together. It makes sense.

I just don’t want it to.

I mentioned the swap as gently as I could in an email to the parks and rec guy and it was (kind of) resolved by day’s end. He was really nice and I managed to keep my inner Dance Mom at bay. I’ve grown up a little in Sophie’s 9 years, I guess. Or maybe I’m just tired.

Did you enjoy this article?
Share the love
Get updates!
Tags: Filed under: Uncategorized by Amysilverman

4 Responses to “Dance Moms (Almost) Meets Special Olympics”

  1. True story: Weekend before last I went to a Ds playgroup (Shocking!) and recognized one little girl who was next to Standard Suburban Mom. I said hi & I think we met once before at…. Nope. Right kid, wrong mom. She must have thought I got the kids confused – which is perversely funny, if not a little sad for the reasons you state.

  2. K — classic! from the “you can’t make this stuff up” files…

  3. I think your inner dance mom prevailed!

  4. I’m just having a really hard time accepting the fact that Sophie is going to be NINE!!!!

Leave a Reply

My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.


All content ©Amy Silverman | Site design & integration by New Amsterdam Consulting