The Wins Keep on Coming
Author: Cheryl Kehoe Rodgers 7786
We’re not even through 2015 and already I’ve seen big changes, and the potential for bigger changes. And, I’m learning a lot about myself and my kids.
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We’re not even through 2015 and already I’ve seen big changes, and the potential for bigger changes.
And, I’m learning a lot about myself and my kids. First, on to the education business. Since I am technically considered a professional writer, it would stand to reason that my Facebook postings are witty, interesting, well-written and audience-grabbing. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m terrible at putting things on Facebook. Truth be told, I only have a Facebook page because Stan (my boss) made me, for Times Herald reasons.
Oh, I’m capable of posting things, they just aren’t interesting, funny, informative or thought provoking. They’re about Matthew mostly. And I’m sure a few of you reading this column are thinking that my columns are about my youngest as well, so, what’s the difference?
An Interesting Life
I will concede that — with this disclaimer. When the epiphany hit me that 99 percent of the things I put on my personal Facebook page are about Matthew, and that most of my columns are about him, or my other 2 kids – I realized this – my kids, in particular Matthew, make my life interesting.
Ahead of the Game
That may sound a bit depressing to some people, but I embrace it.
Years ago, when I was just starting out as a sports writer, and then as a wife and then a mom, just about every day was an adventure. Each day presented some new challenge or obstacle or experience that forced me to push the boundaries of my comfort zone.
Whether it was driving to a District 11 school to cover a state playoff game, or discovering how to get a streak-free shine on windows or figuring out how to get my little daughter to eat something other than yogurt, I took on the challenges, and just prayed I come out ahead of the game.
Witness to a Miracle
Now, my greatest challenge, and my greatest victory is Matthew.
It will always be Matthew. It might sound trite, but the God’s honest truth is when you have a child with special needs — whatever those needs may be — every day presents a new and different obstacle. The obstacles may be tiny and typical ones — like getting him to stop mocking his sister, or they may be huge and enduring — like learning to read.
Regardless, when Matthew takes on those obstacles, and subsequently clears them, well, each time seems like I’m witness to a miracle. For that, I’m pretty darn lucky.
Full disclosure — I rarely try to stop Matthew from mocking his sister.
I know I should, but it’s pretty funny to listen to a 24-year-old young woman whine that her little brother — with that extra chromosome — is making fun of her. Besides, she will no doubt post the exchange on Facebook — yet another laugh. Kaitlyn shines as a writer in social media.
Her Facebook postings are remarkable — funny, interesting, though-provoking – everything I’m not in social media. Truth is I’m a bit jealous. I have no idea what kind of whiz my oldest son is at social media because I’m pretty sure he does not frequent Facebook, Instagram, or whatever’s trending with kids now.
And, I’m pretty sure I could write in this space anything I wanted about him, and he would never know. My columns have too many words for him to read.
Matthew is not into social media (that pesky reading issue). But he does like to play Sims.
Well, he likes to starve/sleep deprive/bore/soil them to death. In other words, as Kaitlyn says, Matthew is a “Serial Sims Killer.”
I have not posted my little boy’s penchant for knocking off simulated people. I have, however, posted photos of his first train ride, and a shot of him sitting in the bleachers of a Holy Family University basketball game.
Not such a big deal in the life of a “typical” kid. But for Matthew, both milestone days.
A few years ago, I thought Matthew, like most every kid, would love to ride the locomotive at the Strasburg Rail Road.
Talk about not knowing your kid. I had to physically carry him on to the train, and then spent the entire ride trying to get him to stop crying. It was a nightmare. So, I went home defeated and sad, and tell my husband. He patted me on the shoulder and said, “Next year I’ll take the day off and we’ll all go.” Oh, thank the Lord, I found the magic bullet.
When that day came, it took both of us to get Matthew on the train. And neither one of us could get him to stop crying. That was 3 years ago. My husband just the other day admitted that he thought I was exaggerating about my solo run to Strasburg – and then he learned firsthand I wasn’t. Wow.
Anyway, a few months ago Matthew started asking me to take him on the train he sees every day.
So, on New Year’s Eve day, Matthew, his sister, his father and I boarded the Septa train, and rode it into Market Street East station. Matthew loved it. And now he can’t wait to take another train ride. A beautiful win.
Milestone number 2 came a week later. Take into consideration we are an athletic family. Football and lacrosse – they weren’t ever problems for Matthew because they’re outdoor sports. Basketball and volleyball – nightmares.
When Tommy was on the freshman basketball team at Kennedy-Kenrick, I made the mistake of thinking Matthew and I would have a great time watching the game. Dear God, I still have scars from that day – both physical and emotional. I won’t go into the awful details (the flashbacks I get are traumatizing still) – let’s just say Matthew wasn’t a big fan of being in a gym.
We realized a little too late that the loud noises are most likely physically hurting Matthew’s ears.
But with kids out of high school and Tommy playing lacrosse at Millersville, we didn’t have to really worry about gyms. Then my nephew became the head coach at Holy Family University, and I was excited to have a team to cheer for again.
The debut of Matthew at a Tigers game was a fail – Matthew and his dad sat in the lobby while I joined other family members in the bleachers. I was disappointed and determined to find an answer to this problem. And then it came to me – headphones. Brilliant.
Santa left cool Phillies headphones that Matthew can plug into his iPad (given for educational reasons but now mostly used to kill Sims or play Subway Surfers.)
A week or so later, Matthew was happily sitting on the bleachers, headphones in place and cheering on his big cousin. He even yelled at a referee for a call against Holy Family. Geez, just like his big cousin… Two wins that day – Matthew and Coach Kehoe’s Holy Family team.
Can’t Win Everything
As a bonus, R.C. took Matthew into the locker room to meet the team. But, Matthew was afraid his dad would leave without him, so the visit was a short one. I posted both events on Facebook, but Kaitlyn posted her own with her own comments. Sadly, I liked hers more than I liked mine. And, according to the likes hers got, so did everyone else. Well, you can’t win them all....
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