Life with Kelsey, my special needs daughter, is pretty hysterical most of the time.
Or as she says, she is a hoot.
I say she should be an entertainer.
For those who don’t know, Kelsey is 42 and developmentally delayed. She has cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, partial blindness and an assortment of amazing talents.
She is in her own world, not always listening to everything said, but living life to its fullest. Her loud laughter, and warmth to others, is a blessing to those who come in contact with her.
Anyway, let me give you some examples.
We were watching the last Kansas City Chiefs’ game on TV, against the New England Patriot-tooties. We have been faithful viewers of the Chiefs this season. Kelsey and I really caught Chiefs’ fever. In fact, considering all the years Kelsey has been alive, we watched more NFL games this year than all the other years combined.
Anyway, back to the Chiefs-Patriots game ...
I’m sitting in the basement with Kelsey. She’s listening intently to the game.
No, she is not. She is sitting in her electric recliner, looking all around the family room, talking about her day program, her new niece, and even falling asleep.
The game starts with “And Patrick Mahomes ...”
Out of nowhere, Kelsey says, “I like his hair.”
Now, Kelsey is partially blind, and I’m sure she cannot see the TV screen very well.
I asked her how she saw Patrick’s hair under his helmet and she responded with, “I just know.”
See, I told you she was sharp.
Anyway, the first time, the dynamic duo (Mahomes and Travis Kelce), completed a pass, the announcer remarked, “Look at Kelce!”
My Kelsey sits straight up in her chair and says, “Can they see me?”
I responded, “Yes, of course, they can see you. You are their favorite.”
And this went on the whole game, whenever they mentioned Kelce.
Ahh, special needs ... there are benefits, happy times, and paybacks for the hours of hospital stays and meetings, and meetings, and meetings, and meetings.
However, enjoying this game with her was a “hoot.”
Let me share a few more of her comments.
When the announcer stated whether a player “was in the neutral zone,” Kelsey responded, “Yes he was!”
At that exact moment, she was shouting her response from the bathroom.
When the announcer mentioned a facemask, Kelsey stated, “It was not a face cast. I know, I had lots of casts.”
No doubt she has, with her C.P. and 20-plus orthopedic surgeries.
When the another telecaster asked, “Was that pass interference,” Kelsey immediately answered, “I hope they have insurance. They fall over the place.”
After that, Kelsey heard a commentator shout about the ball being carried for a touchdown. Her response was “Of course, my friend Corey can carry the ball. She wears a helmet too”.
In fact, many of Kelsey’s friends wear helmets, to protect them from falls during seizures, and for other needs.
The last Chiefs game was indeed incredible.
Then there was the game Kelsey was watching, on the home sideline, calling the plays and broadcasting in her own manner, a very sweet memory, which I will forever remember. Go Chiefs!
Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.