No matter how big the race...

Yesterday Bianca had a cross-country event at her school. Now for Bianca's age group it was really just around the field area. When I read on Bianca's teacher's website that they will have the event this term I felt really concerned. I knew that participation would be expected and with the one chemo drug in particular (Vincristine), Bianca really struggles with running. Now a lot of kids her age are not all that good at running, but when you see Bianca runs it is obvious that she is not at all able to compete in a race.

So I wrote to the teacher expressing my concern that Bianca would be set up for failure and that she would not cope with the activity. I am so impressed with Bianca's school and her teacher. The teacher kindly explained that they never force Bianca to run in any of the fitness activities. She always has the option of walking with a buddy as there are always another child who is unable to run for whatever reason. But for this race, Bianca would be given the opportunity to walk with a buddy or be a special helper.

I had a nice chat with Bianca explaining her options and we talked about how it isn't about winning, but it is about participation and having fun. We talked about how some of us are good at one thing and another good at something else, but we can't all be good at the same thing. Bianca looked at me with a "what-do-you-mean-be-a-helper?" kind of look in her face. She assured me that she wanted to participate.

And so yesterday arrived and I reminded her it would be okay to walk and that I expected her to do her very best (not to be the best in her group). It was at this point that another little boy in Bianca's class jumped in and said "it is all about the winning", so I quickly reminded Bianca that it was about participation. I didn't go and watch the event. Partly because I had Caitlyn with me, but also because it would have broken my heart to see her struggle so much more than the other kids.

When I went to school to get Bianca I learned that not only did she choose to run, but she finished it, despite being completely last. The teachers and I are so incredibly proud of her for doing something that is much harder for her than it is for other kids. So yesterday Bianca was awarded the Star of the Day in her class for starting AND finishing an activity. I have one amazing 5 year old, that's for sure!


Anonymous said...

What a great story! Bianca really is an inspiration to all of us. I am also impressed with her teachers in handling the situation so commendably.
Way to go Bianca!
Rosemary NY

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is really fantasic. Bianca, you are such an inspiration. Well done for trying so hard.

sharonvw said...

She's my HERO!! I cried when I read this!
WELL DONE Bianca!! You are such an inspiration!!!

Felicity said...

Bianca IS amazing and I think that the main thing is that she enjoyed it. She is truly an inspiration to us all. Well done Bianca!!!!
Love Felicity

Anonymous said...

You will always be my hero, Bianca!!

theclam said...

Bianca - you're a ROCKSTAR! Way to go :)


Amanda said...

You must all be incredibly proud of Bianca! She has the courage of a lion!! Well done Bianca, you are just an amazing little girl, what an achievement!!

Kristin said...

Way to go Bianca. You can be an example for all of us.

Beautiful Mess said...

That's a pretty amazing girl you got there! Way to go Bianca, you are truly an inspiration!

Annie - Steven's mom said...

You know how pine gum sticks to your fingers forever? Well, this story stuck in my mind and I keep coming back to read it. It's a really inspirational and very human story!
Yes, you do have a seriously awesome 5 years old. And that 5 year old has one seriously awesome mom!
love and light