Thursday, October 9, 2008

Conversation: "Look a Gaggle of Geese!"

A Football* Story

It was an overcast sort of evening. My husband, five year old and I tossed first a Frisbee and then a football around in our front yard for awhile. My ten year old with autism took a mild interest in our activities. He would join us for a bit then go off and either watch us from a distance go off to do his own thing before joining us again. We were encouraging but not forceful in getting him to participate.

Our five year old caught both the Frisbee and the football quite a bit. Our ten year old (who has had physical therapy at school for at least three years now) tried, but missed most of the tosses coming his way. He would hold his arms out straight in sort of an awkward fashion, but wouldn't really watch the ball as it came to him.

When it was getting near our boys' 7 p.m. shower time we let everyone finish or at least try to finish on a good note by catching the ball. My husband and I both caught our tosses and the five year old also caught his on the first try. However, my little athlete protested when I picked up the ball to try again (unsuccessfully for the second time) after our ten year old missed the throw.
"Hey, why'd he get to do it again?"

"We want him to have a chance to catch the ball. I'll give him three tries. You caught yours on the first try." The protester didn't argue with me anymore.

"OK C, ready?"


"One, two, three!" I said as I tossed the ball.

Suddenly my son no longer appeared ready because my "three" competed with another sound. Honking geese completely and totally distracted my son. A group of them were flying over our home in the usual lopsided v-fashion in a sure sign of fall. Instead of looking at the ball flying towards him, my guy looked at the geese.

"Hey it's a gaggle of geese!" he shouted, his gaze toward the sky.

The football reached him then. He must of sensed it somehow or saw it from the corner of his eye. His arms snapped upward in a reflexive action. He caught the ball! He caught the ball? How'd he do that?

"Good job, buddy!" I exclaimed. My other two guys cheered the successful reception as well.

The ten year old smiled, but then repeated his observation of the geese. He'd keep repeating that until one of us affirmed what he said.

"Yes, that's a gaggle of geese. Gaggle--that's a good word," I said. My guy was satisfied with that and went into the house. I then looked at my husband.

"He was looking at the geese!" I said, referring to my son's unexpected catch.

"But it counts," he replied.

"Yes I guess it does," I said.

Yes it it does.

* American style football

1 comment:

Marla said...

Wow! It sure does count! What a great story.