Tomorrow, no, let’s start with today.
Marcus was featured as a model on live television as a preview for a big event that is tomorrow. This is an event he has auditioned for three times.
Well, to be honest, this year his audition was actually being part of a celebrity photo shoot and feature article as the cover story for a magazine with a worldwide audience.
The article was called “The Slugger and the Storyteller.” He’s had a helluva three years since his first audition.
That first audition was the first time either he or I had been in a room full, FULL of people with Down syndrome, full of people with a “face like mine,” as Marcus says. Full of bright, buzzing excitement, stage lights and strutting music. It was an amazing experience, and a little overwhelming, too.
Today we are going to the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome to participate in an ambitious research project aimed to improve the lives of people with Ds. We will meet with scientists and medical doctors who will take one vial of blood from each of us, we will share our medical histories, we will hope this helps both Marcus’ future and the future of the so many friends we have made these last three years.
These things are making me reflect on many more yesterdays, and the friends who have been there. The friends who have walked beside us, or pushed us, or even carried us. The interwebs are full of birth stories, I’ve shared a few myself, but the thing is, the yesterdays that were hard, really hard, were all in-between the birth story and today.
Heart surgery. Stubborn, throwing the food from the high chair days. SO many frustrations with communication. The “social service” mornings, should I admit I called them that? When I couldn’t get him into the car, then out of the car to go into school, so that I could go to work.
My feeling a failure for being beaten by the public school system. My feeling of failure for not having, or making, the time to give him more, teaching him more, having more for him…I threw myself into my own work. SO many hours that Marcus learned without me. So much so that once a volunteer at the school said to me, “I didn’t know Marcus had a mother!”
And yet…he was learning, wasn’t he? He learned and worked and grew up beside me, just like I did with my father.
And then, like magic, he has become his own full self. He has his own accomplishments.
Today I wallow in the yesterdays and marvel at our history, our expectations, our should-haves, our almosts, and how they, somehow, all led up to this.
This tomorrow, where he will go by himself to rehearse, to mingle with his peers, to have his own stage and walk into his own spotlight.
Be Beautiful, Be Yourself, the show is called.
Wanna see the Live TV spot? Check it out here: http://kdvr.com/2016/11/10/be-beautiful-be-yourself-fashion-show-5/
And also a Finish the Sentence Friday post, with this week’s sentence being
“When it comes to the unexpected or to change…”
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