Something very wonderful happened yesterday. After some prodding (and bribing), I was able to convince my 8-year old daughter with Down Syndrome to run with me inside the park. Of course I had to promise her that she could play in the playground after she completed 1 round (approximately 600 m.). But first, I had to buy her a new pair of rubber shoes exclusively for running. So off we went to Star Mall.
For someone who simply loved shopping like Eia, I cannot aptly describe how happy she was while trying out different brands and styles of rubber shoes. She was ecstatic! Finally, after a series of trial and error, we found something that was light enough for running. We then walked to the fruits stand to buy bananas and mangoes while she merrily wore her new pair of shoes.
We left the car inside the village so walking back was an excellent break-in for Eia's new shoes. Eia didn't mind the long walk. When we passed by the security guard, she made her usual hand salute but this time, she extended her legs and proudly announced "look at my new shoes!".
Before embarking on our maiden journey together, I advised Eia to drink water first but she insisted on drinking her favorite lemonade. While walking towards our starting point, I instructed Eia not to run very fast but to just follow my pace. She readily agreed.
We started very slow but I noticed that Eia's hands were stretched way above her head when she runs. I told her to control her hands, watch how mine moved and try to follow them. Eia was so obedient that when Gio's godmother passed by, she commented that Eia was in proper form.
But after a short run, Eia already complained of being tired. I told her that she could walk but will run again later. After a few steps I urged her to run again, advised her to look straight up the trees, and follow the movement of my feet. Again, she complied. And we went through this run/walk routine until we completed one round. After that, she happily went inside the playground with Ate Ella while I ran 3 more rounds.
I couldn't wait for tomorrow--Eia's second day of training. Hmm . . . Let's see. Does anyone know when is the next Special Olympics?