Project 365-2015: Day 151

Project 365-2015: Day 151 – 50 Games

Nicholai played his 50th football game today. We had a banner and invited everyone to come and have some afternoon tea and watch him, because we wanted it to be a celebration. Not just of football though. There’s so much more to this than just a game, and my heart doesn’t even feel big enough to hold it all.

It’s just that I never knew that he would be able to do this. The toddler who went from ‘quirky’ to ‘something’s not right’. The pre-schooler who once looked at me telling him off for hitting his sister and asked “Are you happy, or sad?” The pre-schooler who used to begin conversations with everyone (including longtime friends and family) with “Hi, I’m Nicholai!” because that was the only conversational opener he knew. That schoolboy who was so hypercompetitive that losing was devastating. That Asperger brain that made some things so easy and other things so hard.

And then I look at him now. 50 games, and I’m so proud. He has made a place for himself at the footy club, and they really see him. They gave him his nickname, they gave him the number 1 jumper, they gave him the opportunity to be the one representing the whole club at the AFL launch, and they gave him all these things because he earned them. Earned them with hard work and dedication and persistence…earned them just by being who he is, and doing his thing in his own inimitable Nicholai way.

And all of that is why today was about so much more than football for me. Nicholai, Little Bear, Stats…you go out there and take on the world.


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