Thursday, March 6, 2014
No One Is Alone
"Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what's good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone."
--Into The Woods
So tonight Patrick had to write down all of his various entries that would be placed under his name on his yearbook page.
He's in 8th grade in a K-8 school...the top of the heap.
It's the big time.
First he had to list his interests.
Basketball, swimming, drama, musicals, music, traveling and Broadway made the list.
He wanted to add that he was a "love expert" (his favorite phrase from the movie Frozen, other than "Let It Go" the Oscar award-winning theme song from it) but I told him that it would be vetoed by the yearbook editors.
They're picky this year.
Next, he had to list people he most admired:
Sarah, Steve, Ashley, mom and dad. Jack, Mary Kate, Caroline and Miah.
First off, can we chat? Are John and I a two-for-one deal??
Are we not separate entities?
Not in Patrick's mind on this day or so it seems.
Miah's name made me smile...Miah placed Patrick in her list of people she admired in last year's yearbook. I forgot that kindness but Patrick did not.
Finally, we had to think of an inspirational quote.
We started talking about favorite lines from movies and plays.
He was really pulling for one of the many funny lines from Frozen by Olaf the snowman but I told him those yearbook editors wouldn't go for it.
So he turned to his old stand by, perhaps his favorite Broadway play of all, Into the Woods.
Just like that, it appeared.
Like a comic strip speech bubble above his head:
"No one is alone."
As soon as he said it, he knew that was it.
He tumbled and tossed some others around:
"Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor." being a solid number 2.
But he just kept coming back to the fav.
No one is alone.
Truly, no one is alone.
This child of mine, so divinely placed, just knows how to get to the heart of what matters.
I cried in the days after Patrick's birth, believing, however erroneously, that I would never make another friend...that Patrick was my barrier, my wall, my fortress.
Honestly, I couldn't have been more 100% wrong.
I would laugh at the old me...right out loud in an exuberant way...knowing the life I have right now...so full to the brim with new amazing, heroic, inspirational people that have crossed my path all because of Patrick...if I didn't cringe at the sheer number of abortions caused by that same fear and prejudice.
I want you to know..no matter how afraid you are...no matter how unsure...no matter what is going down in this difficult journey we call Life...that Patrick speaks the truth.
No one is alone.
You may feel isolated.
You may feel like a freak.
You may feel unlovable, unknowable, unforgiven but that is just the story you tell.
As they say so wisely in Into the Woods:
(and perhaps this is my favorite quote)
Careful the tale you tell,
that is the spell.
Children will listen.
So tonight, another sprinkle of glitter came my way on my path of Life.
More sparkle...more light...more love.
Once again, I thank my teacher...
or should I call him my bridge, my crossing, my light at the end of the tunnel.
Whatever the metaphor, in this month of celebrating people with Down Syndrome,
tonight I am profoundly grateful for my front row seat.