Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Soccer Team

"We have something very important to discuss," I tell the sweaty, red-faced shorties on my soccer team.

"Guys! Come on in! I need you to listen for a couple minutes!"

"Please take your soccer balls out of your shirts! We're not playing the "Mommy's Knocked Up Again" game right now. We'll play that later."

"This is important. We need a team name."

"How about The Stripes?" a towering 6 year old says.

"Yeah, The Stripes," seconds another.

Unimpressed with their creativity, I ask, "does anyone like Star Wars?"

Charlie's fingertips touch the clouds.

"How about the R2s?" Charlie says, the excitement building in his voice.

I sell the R2s (R2-D2s) to the rest of the team, going way over the top with how cool a name it is. Most are onboard, but one kid isn't going for it.

"Don't you like Star Wars?"


"Do you like robots?"




"George Lucas's not so subtle thematic reference to Nazi Germany?"


"Well, what do you like?"

"I like rocket ships," the sunburned boy says with a lisp.

"Close enough."

"OK boys, we're the R2-D2s!"

OK, so I rigged the vote. Not the most democratic process, but tough. My kid is out there lugging a pump around his waist, stopping for fun "blood breaks" and hauling ass at 414 mg/dl. I'm the coach. If Charlie wants to be the R2s, then dammit, the R2s it is.

This was my first real experience testing Charlie in front of a group of kids his own age. I was amazed by their reaction. They crowded around us like we were giving away ice cream – firing off question after question. They were fascinated.

"Whoa, cool! What's that thing? What's that? Does that hurt? Why are doing that? What's that tube? Whoa, you're brave!"

Even more amazing was that Charlie wasn't embarrassed nor did he feel the need to conceal his pump from the curious crowd. It's one of those moments as a parent when as much as you know your own kid, you just don't know which way it's going to go. Phew! He actually loved the attention.

At half-time, Charlie - normally painfully shy - yelled out, "Hey! Anyone wanna see me get tested?"


At 6:54 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

I was on a softball team in the 8th grade called the "Streakers" it was not a naked softball team.

That is so awesome that Charlie was open about testing.

The kids in Brendon's classes from preschool on were fascinated at first, now it's about as innocuous as him getting a glass of water.

Allowing kids to observe differences in others is so important to developing tolerance.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Vivian said...

Congrats! I am glad Charlie is being himself and way to strong arm 6 year olds. lol
I totally agree with Shannon, all the problems we have had with other kids and D has been the fear of the unknown. The more he can make it open the better and safer it will be.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Poet with a Day Job said...

That's totally awesome. I am jealous of your coaching stint, and so pleased it all works out for the best, as life often does.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Chris said...

....this is a great compliment to you and your family Carey. By him harbouring that type of attitude towards this disease is very commendable. Applause.
I hope me and Denise can "carey-out" what you have accomplished with Charlie.

At 6:19 PM, Blogger Penny said...

It's great that Charlie doesn't feel like he needs to hide to test.

Best of luck to the R2s. Riley will be jealous when I tell him the name of the team Charlie is on.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger TB said...

Just wanted to say that Charlie is my hero right now. If I were in his position, I'm not sure how I would respond to it all. It really is great that he doesn't feel the need to hide his D. :-)

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kids are amazing huh?

when i gt diagnosed at 17, when i went back to school evryone was interested in my testing kit etc.... i used to get people to inject me because i didn't like doin it!!!

i like to r2 d2s good name!!!

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Chops said...

Right on! That is great that he is loving the attention. How's the coaching going?


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