The Best Days Start with PBJ

Saturday launched with a peanut butter sandwich in Times Square, where we met many friends, some of which we knew before we got there, but not all. Then we watched a big screen in the city that never sleeps and saw babies we “awwwwed,” people we “Cool!”-ed, and – the man we came to see – Marcus.

Marcus on the big screen!

I don’t remember seeing him but I must’ve for the split second it took to hit record on my camera. Then I watched him. “It’s Us!” he said. (The picture is of our friend Charley and Marcus at a Black Day book event last year). Then, “It’s me!” Quick clip of Marcus seing himself…

Then we stayed and watched more of our friends, it was pretty cool. From there we went to Central Park and I have to tell you, that place is huge. HUGE. We had pizza with the Buddy Walk folks, met some more new friends, sold a book, Marcus gave out an autograph and posed for a few pictures.

It was a gorgeous day outside, and that is actually an understatement. Even so, we didn’t stay long as Marcus is inclined toward “inside parties.” So we took a cab back to Times Square, did a little window shopping, stopped for lunch (where Marcus chatted with the couple at the table next to us, who were celebrating their anniversary and headed to a show), ooohed over the posters of upcoming Broadway shows. (I see difficult choices in our future. Anastasia. Hello Dolly with Bette Midler. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Christian Borle…C’Mon!!) Then headed back to our hotel.

In the room, Marcus took a shower and I took a nap. I even overslept a little into our football time, a little, but not too much! We had on our red and headed to the bar to root on our team. We sat and made more new friends, who celebrated with us when our team won.

Then – Scoosh – we headed across the street to see Lion King on Broadway. The first show Marcus ever saw on Broadway was Lion King, many years ago, and well, it was worth seeing again. What a show!

My Eyes May Have Leaked

OK, I admit it, my eyes leaked many times Saturday. I teared up as the Times Square video began, so many shining faces surrounding us. Seeing Marcus see himself also brought out a little emotion. I did not cry at the football win – but almost. And Lion King, Plueese – Disney and Broadway together, if you don’t cry at least once, it’s a possible indication you have no soul.

Then Sunday Morning

We went to a fun spot called Ellen’s Stardust Diner, the home of the singing wait-staff. Shortly after we sat down, the singer/actor/ and server, Merick, sang “Sante Fe” from Newsies. He was in a Newsies style hat, as was Marcus (of course). There was a moment when he took Marcus’ hand they sang the “big notes” together. I was, again, a little teary.

It was cool.

No, I did not get a picture of that moment because I wasn’t quick enough and also I was too busy tucking it into my heart.

But I did think to ask for a picture after – Here ya go:)


ANYway – why am I telling you all of this? A 500 word list of our to-do’s from  a big vacation day in NYC?

Here’s why:

Although our day began in a celebratory fashion of acceptance for people with Ds in New York and everywhere, that is not today’s message. Today I want you to see that Down syndrome didn’t take one ounce away from our great day.

We enjoyed friends, we enjoyed the city, we enjoyed each other.

Not because of or in spite of Ds.  I meet and hear new parents who worry…worry that Down syndrome will stop their children, and their families, from enjoying life, from living new experiences, from being.

My advice: stop it.

Live and embrace and go-on-with-your-bad-selves. Work on your family passions together, there will be give and take in any family. (My father, for example, does NOT care for Broadway. Weird, right?) In any case, move forward with the intention of doing and living and enjoying and discovering together. I recall one young man advocate saying, “Inclusion begins at home.” So, go on and enjoy.

Marcus and I have many great days, and you will, too. That’s my PSA for today.

*In other news, you can watch the entire Times Square video here:

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