Throwback: My hero by Peyton

I thought since we are doing the 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays… and it is Throwback Thursday…. what better time than now to bring out this blog from 4 years ago! The Holidays are a time that we reflect on the things that we are thankful for… People we love… and what unites us! I think this blog is truly a great example of all those things. Every once in awhile someone comes into your life, that truly makes a difference. Everett Dawkins is one such person. I hope you enjoy this blog… and as always, thanks for reading and Hope everyone has an awesome day!

 

 

 

I’m 16, I’m autistic, and I love sports. 2 of my most favorite sports are Football and Basketball.

My favorite teams in NFL are Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My favorite teams in NBA are Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors. My favorite Colleges are Florida State Seminoles and Texas A&M Aggies.

I always cheer for FSU because all of my family are FSU fans. My cousins, Troy and Jodie both went to FSU. I cheer for Texas A&M because that’s where my stepdad, Mark got his master’s
degree. I do sometimes cheer for TCU because Mark’s dad went there.

My favorite team is FSU football, I am very lucky because I have a buddy who went to FSU. He played football for FSU and later became a pro and played for several teams in NFL, Everett Dawkins, also known as Big E. We call him Big E because he is huge and hard as a rock. He talks to me on E-mail, text messages and Twitter. He always remembers my Birthday, and that means a lot to me.

I also know Daniel Glauser, who also went to FSU and played football. He also follows and talks to me on Twitter, he is my friend. Both Everett and Daniel are very nice and they would never treat me like I’m autistic.

Although, I don’t have many friends because I’m autistic, and I don’t talk very well, but Everett thinks I’m cool, and he really cares about me. Everett teaches himself how to become a better player in Football. Everett started the foundation called Underdog Kids.

I am currently working on a book for it, and it’s about what is like to be an underdog. The book is also about me and my youth group when we went bowling.

Everett makes me feel safe, and he is like a big brother to me. Everett teaches me that it’s okay to be different and to be an underdog. He encourages me to exercise because I needed to get stronger and have more energy.

On October 5th, I went to the Fall Festival, and I won the medal for the horse race, because I ran fast, I’ve been exercising for a year so that I have more energy. Everett taught me that I may not be great at talking or sports, but I matter.

I love Everett because he makes me feel like I can do anything, even though I am autistic. Many people want to be friends with him, because he plays football and is so nice, but he chooses to be friends with me.

When something good happens and I tell him, he always makes a big deal out of it. I am so happy he chose to be friends with me and my family!

I’m glad he started the Underdog Kids because it will help kids feel better about themselves. I hope that it becomes really big so lots of kids can get support. I wish more Sport stars were so nice and cared about Autism and would help autistic kids. I am so glad Everett does, because he made a big difference in my life.

His Perspective

Today I had a long overdue phone call with a dear friend. We’ve been promising to talk for months, only to have life get in the way. We’ve been “catching up “ via text which really isn’t catching up.. it’s more like bullet points of an essay. One thing I really adore about him is we can pick right up where we left off and never feel like there was a “break”. I’ve known him for sometime and have always really enjoyed him. He’s very smart, extremely funny.. I’ve been in tears many times from laughter while talking with him. He is very straight forward, but one of the nicest guys you’ll ever know. I really enjoy my conversations with him because I vent, laugh, cry and learn and come away feeling better about so many things. He’s a world traveler and brings a perspective that I don’t always get elsewhere.

I love having a variety of friends who bring different life experiences and perspectives to our friendship. This friendship brings me both that I don’t get elsewhere and I deeply value that. While he doesn’t have children, he has extended family members who are autistic,and he is directly involved in their lives, so he can add thoughts, views and ideas that I don’t get elsewhere. He sees the “forest through the trees” but brings it having a direct connection to Autism.

Todays conversation didn’t disappoint, we not only caught up, we made plans for the future. There are times I feel like I’ve hit a wall with AwesomismMom, not that I can’t break down those walls.. but I need  a “sledgehammer perspective” from others who aren’t necessarily directly involved. It’s nice to get feedback on my blogs, thoughts, goals and direction for AwesomismMom. He was very encouraging today, as well as brought some awesome thoughts. I enjoyed hearing his perspective not only on my blogs, but also on how he sees the other side, from many of us who live every day with an autistic child. I think sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day of AwesomismMom and trying to make a positive impact, I tend to overlook ideas that can bring about my end goal. My ultimate dream is to be a positive network in many ways for autistic teens and adults. I have a plan… although I don’t share it with many… I work every day to achieve the goals I have set. I go through many ideas daily to help me try to achieve mine and Peyton goal of Turning Autism into Awesomism. I know what my end goal is… what I struggle with is how to get there. My conversation today was awesome because he doesn’t offer advice how to get there… he offers perspectives on why my end goal is so important.

I came away from our call energetic, as well a new vision of how I need to achieve my end goal.  Friendships are give and take and sometimes the person doing the giving may not even realize how much they actually gave. I know my friend reads my blog and I know when he reads this he will realize this is about him. I’m thankful for his friendship, but more importantly I’m thankful for his perspective! Sending him a big hug!