Tuesday, June 22, 2010


By Heather
Today, Bill took a day off and we went to Lansing for the second annual Braille-athon. We didn't know about it last year, so we missed it, but this year we were there bright and early, and made it through the whole thing. Yes, Acer lasted the whole 4 hours, though, at one point he told Bill "We should go home now", when Bill told him we were staying for another hour and a half, Acer said "Then we should go to the potty now'. Not sure how he felt he was going to make the 2 hours home, but at least he made a good call in the end.

We thought it was a random Braille competition, using slate and stylus instead if braille writer or technology. That didn't appear to happen, so Calli was a little disappointed but seeing people she knew made up for it. We've now made it to 4 statewide events since this winter, and we are starting to recognize people, and be recognized. Calli saw Taylor, the one other girl in her sports camp group of 5 kids, and they continued making plans to meet at summer camp the end of July. She also saw Chelsea, a very sweet college freshman who loves goalball as much as Calli does. Calli did have to miss a day of goal ball camp to be at this event, but had a good time nonetheless. Calli also sang the star spangled banner to open the event, with about 30 seconds notice. She forgot a teeny bit, but got back on track quickly. She was singing into a microphone on a portable podium, and the podium was about as tall as she, high on the cuteness factor there.

Calli and Acer's O&M (orientation and mobility, canework) intern was there and both kids were really pleased to see her. Interestingly enough, she's getting her O&M, and TVI and comes to this out of the world of hearing impaired teaching. She is going to be so well rounded when she is done with school.

Acer continued his fallback plans for what to do if you don't know what's going on or where you are. Yes, he climbed flight after flight of stairs. Outside the capitol building, inside the building, the parking garage, you name it. If he feels there's nothing else to do, then it's off to find stairs. Acer was a bit overwhelmed with all the noise under the huge canopy, but was able to sort it out later and enjoy himself more. Because we were on the stairs, and the keyboard player and singer were in front of the stairs, we were right there when Acer said he wanted to sing into the microphone.

They let him, but did not, to Acer's shock, know Day-O! So Acer sang, thankfully omitting the first line of 'work all night on a glass of rum!' which he usually starts it with. He stopped twice, and Tim, the singer, went to take the microphone back, and then Acer said 'There're more words!' and continued singing. Not sure why he stopped, maybe for a breather in the heat, but he completed the song. Now this was probably the cutest thing all day at the event. Firstly, Acer is just so dern cute. Plus, he was wearing a tan bucket hat and sleeveless tie die tee shirt and orange board shorts, which just was super cute too. Then, when you add in Acer's raspy little voice singing happily away... well, we'll just say that none of the people walking in to the capitol building right then were able to resist a smile.

Later, Acer was homing in on a bell he heard ringing, it was an ice cream pushcart run by the local NFB chapter. Acer then cute'd himself into a free dove bar. Yes, his cuteness is such that even blind people can sense it. One picked him up and tried to let him pick up his own ice cream, but Acer was too short, his arms didn't reach despite almost being headfirst into the pushcart. Heat, Ice cream bar = sticky messy Acer. Thanks to the ladies at two tables, we were able to combine paper towels and water bottle water to make him presentable again.

We were blessed because the kids' godmother Aunt Steph, and her son Rain (6) made it to the event too! Rain had a good time and tried all the tables. As all the kids went to the different tables, they had different things to do to help them understand Braille, whether they are blind or not. At each table, they were given tickets, and were able to buy things using those tickets. Hurrah! they all got got things to bring home. Good job vendors and service org's who showed up, the kids loved it.

We came home and picked up my van, HiHo. Poor van, I drove over a tire chunk yesterday on the way home from goalball camp and took out the power steering pump, Ouch! Yes, we made the trip in Bill's car. it was tighter than we were used to, but it worked just fine.

Here is a link to a Newspaper article about it and a video, Bill's back is on the left, about 3 seconds in,

pictures as I get them, Hopefully soon!

1 comment:

Heather said...

sounds like a great day for everyone. Free ice cream for Acer! How cool is that? They both are so cute and adorable. I can just picture Acer singing.