For the first time this season, we were able to make our way to Doak Campbell Stadium to watch the Noles play. It has not been for lack of trying, or lack of tickets, it has just been a matter of having no conflicts with the game time and other things getting in the way. Saturday was the day.
As we were walking up to the stadium, Kaitlyn insisted that we follow the same routine we followed last year at the first game we went to. That meant meeting a large group by the “Unconquered” statue, and then heading inside when the gates opened to tour the field. Not this time. It was going to be just the three of us. We hung around outside the stadium, then headed over to the corporate tailgate area for a shady place to sit and free food.
We got to our seats about 30 minutes before kickoff, and Kaitlyn immediately sent me for Dippin Dots. Chocolate. No problem. She was excited that Boston College won the coin toss and chose to receive the opening kickoff because that meant she would get to see Dustin Hopkins immediately. (She cheers for him because he was nice to her at a Seminole Showdown, remembered her at Fan Day, and he happens to be my favorite current player.) Except for when the offense took the field for the first time, and the announcer said that EJ Manuel was at quarterback, Kaitlyn was barely interested in the game for most of the first half. (EJ is her favorite player by far). She spent most of the half taking pictures of the program, specifically taking pictures of the pictures of EJ and Dustin. There was some excitement for her right at the end of the half when Dustin kicked a 51 yard field goal to break the school and conference scoring records.
Kaitlyn was a little more interested in the second half, and with the game out of reach in the 4th quarter, showed off her dance moves. While she has way better moves than both Amber and I do, I can honestly say she got her moves from her mom’s side of the family. It was not pretty, but she was having a blast. Amber and I just sat there and enjoyed watching her dance.
Since Saturday was a long night, we all slept in yesterday morning. We were jostled awake by Kaitlyn who decided it was time to get up and have breakfast. She spent a lot of the day yesterday working on a few worksheets for school, and getting quizzed on her AR book. She guilted Amber into sitting on the floor to color before we watched the Amazing Race. She was not happy with the result of last night’s episode when the team she was cheering for was eliminated. It was not as bad as the last time she got attached to a team that lost, but it was pretty bad still.
Amber and I enjoy spending time with Kaitlyn as a family. This was a pretty good weekend, and I just hope the one coming is just as good.
Last night,Kaitlyn was as upset as she has been since Andy and Tommy were eliminated from the Amazing Race last fall. All season during Survivor, Kaitlyn has hoped each week that Kat would not be voted off the island.
Kat’s run ended last night. As the “survivors” were at Tribal Council and casting votes for who would no longer be in the running for the million dollar prize, Amber and I kept checking on Kaitlyn. When host Jeff Probst began reading the votes, we watched as Kaitlyn became more and more upset with each vote cast against Kat. And when Jeff announced that Kat had been voted off, Kaitlyn burst into tears; uncontrollable, streaming tears. To her, she had lost the game as well.
Kaitlyn loves shows like Survivor and the Amazing Race, and usually does not become this attached to any of the contestants. Every once in a while, however, she invests fully in one (or a team) and if they do not win, Kaitlyn takes it personally. We can’t exactly not let her watch the shows, either, because of this occasional investment; doing so would only serve as an unjust punishment for no reason.
We were watching one of Kaitlyn’s favorite shows the other night, the Amazing Race, and the teams were in Denmark. One of their clues and tasks was found at Lego Land in Denmark. Almost as soon as they showed the park, Kaitlyn got excited, and at one point exclaimed that she was “excited to be going to Belgium!” (The title in the TV menu said they were in Belgium)
Kaitlyn has long been a fan of Legos. We would spend hours building, and the structure would have to meet her high standards. She has a ton of Legos.
For the past few days, her sole focus has been on our trip to Europe and to Lego Land. She has even started saving up. Amber and I have not broken the news to her quite yet that we are not going to Europe anytime soon. It will be tough trying to get that news to her and couple it with the fact that we will be visiting Lego Land early next year (date to be determined based on room availability). I am hoping that she will be ok with visiting Lego Land Florida, and not be too disappointed that we will not be going to Europe.
Zev and Justin will not win the Amazing Race, but they sure gave an amazing effort in pusuit of the $1 million grand prize. Zev and Justin are best friends that pushed each other through some difficult tasks in some great locations.
Why is this important? Zev has Asperger’s. He was not much of a social force either time they were on the Race, but he definitely brought awareness to viewers about Asperger’s. But what he did was overcome so many of the obstacles that Asperger’s presents, and he did a great job at it. Zev excelled at an art challenge, and joked that he was, “autistic and artistic,” in a classic line. He faced sensory overload from horns and assorted livestock in India. He was put into a number of situations in his two appearances that made him uncomfortable, and he made the best of each one.
Zev raced both times with a great and loyal friend in Justin. Justin knows that Zev has areas where he struggles, and did his best to put him into situations where he would succeed, but also did not baby him because of his Asperger’s. In their exit interview, Zev summed it up perfectly. He said that Justin was “the Race, he was the Amazing.” I could not have said it better. The more I learn about Asperger’s and the more Kaitlyn teaches me, the more I see that she is also the amazing.
It is disappointing that Zev and Justin did not win the money, but it is great that their participation brought some awareness to the potential of those with Asperger’s. Win or lose, Zev and Justin took fans on the show on an entertaining and amazing ride.