Shadow Feelings


Henry NH 2013

A few weeks ago you played in a tournament.  It was a short-lived experience, on a team that I knew would not last.  But even so, I sent a note to the coach to let him know about you.  About how you don’t hear all that well, and that a gym, especially, is a really crumby place to hear anything what with all the bouncing balls and pounding feet and yelling.  There is nothing in there to absorb sound, so it must be wildly frustrating for you, Henry.

I told him what I tell all of your coaches…

…to look at you when they speak, and to speak up a bit.

And also that your dog chewed up one of your hearing aids so you only have one ear to work with…

…that you are smart and you will pick up on everything quickly.

And he responded politely.  No questions.  No concerns.  Just a nice response that went something like “looking forward to meeting him.”

But something in me, just the slightest little bit, felt unsettled.  That shadow of a feeling you get in your heart when there isn’t really any tangible reason for it to be there…it was there.  Sometimes it feels like paranoia.

I watched during the final game.  I watched him call to you out there.




You kept on running.  All of you…you all kept on running.

And then he pulled you out and he did not put you back in.

Maybe I am wrong, or maybe just then I knew what that shadow of a feeling was for.

I wonder how many people in your life, rather than putting in an effort to talk to you, have just given up.

They are missing out on you, little buddy.

Shadow Feelings

5 thoughts on “Shadow Feelings

  1. Toni :0) says:

    Okay, this just hurt my heart for him. Geez, darn coach. :0( On the bright side he has a Mom who is always a constant cheerleader for him and I always say that to my kids. No matter what, I’m their biggest cheerleader. You can only look out for him so long I guess. On the bright side he sure is growing up to be very handsome!

    Whoa, two posts in two days? You are a rock star my friend!

  2. They are missing out. Truly.

    Cliff still talks about the day he came to school with me for the day and meeting Henry – and whenever I read your blog or see updates on FB, I share them and Cliff smiles and remembers playing cars on the carpet with Henry. Those who do put in the time are rewarded greatly!

    1. Hey Amy, there is a point at which you realize that you cannot fight every battle, that they have to learn to fight some of their own battles…they have to learn to advocate for themselves. Henry is still young enough that I will fight for him when he is clearly being wronged. In this case, I don’t really know for certain…but it *felt* that way.

      I think there is a point at which you also realize that not everyone is comfortable, for whatever reason, interacting with a child with a disability…that is sad but it is true, and the less time you spend wringing your hands over it, the better. Others will surprise you with their genuine goodness…their willingness to step up…their desire to be involved…those are the people I choose to remember. 🙂

      There is a lot of goodness out there…

  3. Oh gosh, I’m trying not to get mad… trying to give the coach the benefit of the doubt. But it doesn’t sound like he has a clue. Or even tried to get one. Grrr.

    The gym must be complete torture. Or as the Audie would say, “a difficult listening environment”. But the bigger issue is what feels like dismissal. Like the coach didn’t even try to put himself in Henry’s place.

    And Henry is SO WORTH IT.


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