ImageBrooks had his last day of school on Friday, and today is our last Orange Demons little league game (Brooks is the one in the foreground cheering on his teammates).

Although my son frequently reminds us that the Demons are 1 and 5 this season, my husband and I are grateful that no one else in this Hudson Cliffs organization seems to be paying much attention to the stats. Brooks is picking up baseball skills in a supportive environment where winning is nice, but only gets ranked third in team goals and priorities (perfectly summed up this way by one of our volunteer parent coaches):

  1. Developing sportsmanship (fair play, support of teammates, collegiality in the face of competition)
  2. Developing players’ baseball skills
  3. Trying to win games

Because these last days seem to come at my husband and me faster than we can process them, we will try our best to slow down and really acknowledge this one.

This afternoon, whether the Demons win or lose , I will take this one last opportunity to enjoy the company of the other Demon parents on the bench where, together as a community, we will shout encouraging messages to our boys and girls. When Brooks plays well, I will make sure to bottle that proud smile of his that won’t quit and save it for the off-season. And if he drops a pop fly, I’ll go with: “Good try–you’ll get it next time!”

What I am most grateful about in this league is that Brooks gets recognized and appreciated beyond being the kid on the team with autism. He’s Brooks. Like Ben, Calum, Gabo, Javier, Michael, Noella, Owen, Sam, Stephen, Sundar, Theo and Will–all individually spectacular Demons.