Friday night was an awakening of sorts. Words escaped me as I was totally immersed in the moment. Bailey’s dance team, the Boogie Down Crew, which is comprised of young adults with Down syndrome, was the halftime entertainment at my youngest son’s high school which is the same place that employs Bailey. This all came about after I inquired on the possibility which was met with a resounding “YES”.
I had no idea the magnitude of the moment. As the dance team took center stage on the field, the crowd went wild. Bailey and his friends did what they do best – they entertained, inspired, and filled the stadium with euphoric joy. Smiles spread throughout the crowd and I stood on the field in awe. It was acceptance in its purest form. It is just another reason that this place that nurtures both of my boys fills me up with gratitude.
We aren’t that different from Bailey and his friends. We are all looking for a place to fit, a niche to fill, and a space to occupy. Seeking acceptance in a world that oozes intolerance is a challenge, but Friday, I felt it – I saw it – I heard it. When we started this journey with Bailey, I had no idea how life for him would look, but today, I am convinced that what he and his friends have is something that most of us lack. They have the unique capacity to be happy. They choose it. And then they spread it. You can’t help but smile in their presence. Their contentment and happiness is contagious and it touches everyone who meets them.