Special Challenge Day

Special Challenge Day!!

Yesterday was our local Specially Challenged, Challenge Day.  It’s always such an amazing event.  The Special Olympics lends the torch for the children to carry and the students get Special Olympics medals after their events.

The day always begins with the students running through a giant blow up mascot like the football players do.  Then comes the singing of the National Anthem.

Sienna had the honor of being one in a trio singing the national anthem this year!  We practiced and practiced.  After all, it’s a pretty tough song.

She was so pumped up and ready to sing.  She stood between the two other classmates and the officiate handed her the microphone.  The music began and the officiate began singing with them softly to help remind them of the words.

Then the officiate stopped singing.  The mic started squealing.  Uh oh.  The kids were thrown off focus and couldn’t remember the words.  It was pretty heartbreaking to watch.  Sienna had worked so hard on trying to remember the words and she was still trying, but the words just weren’t coming out right.

In a very touching moment, the very soldier-esque ROTC leader walked up behind them and started singing with them without missing a beat.

Voilà!  The words came back!  They finished the anthem!  That gentleman exemplified grace and patriotism.

Something else that amazed me yesterday was the kids’ spirits.  The athlete’s creed they recite just before the races begin talks about students wanting to win, but if they don’t, they pledge to be brave in the attempt.

It’s often said that there is a “wussification” of America going on right now.  Without going too deep into that right now (I’ll touch on that in a different post), I have to agree that many children now aren’t taught to deal with challenges and disappointment like in the past.  They’re now taught that everyone gets a trophy and we shouldn’t keep score.  They think everyone’s entitled to win.  Well, that’s not how the real world works.  These special kids know that first-hand.

While each student did receive a medal, there was a 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place winner.

Every student needs to learn from the strength these kids have.  They have accepted that not everyone wins 1st place, but that the important thing is that they did their personal best.

They are the epitome of learning to be happy with the person God made you to be and of giving it your all, all the time.

They are shining examples of beautiful souls.