Thursday, December 9, 2010


When Big Bud was 3 he attended a special purpose pre-school at the United Cerebral Palsy center.  It was an amazing program that incorporated children at all levels of ability.  I would love to give a hug to the parents of the typically developing children that had their kids go to the program.  What amazing people those kiddos will grow up to be.  One little boy, though, always made me smile.  He wasn't typical.  He had some challenges, although attitude wasn't one of them. He was a tiny little dude but he walked into that building like he owned it.  He would sit beside Big Bud and help him with his snack.  He'd hand him his napkin and pick up his juice when he dropped it.  Just an incredible little kid.  We have been so lucky to know kids and adults like this. 

Last night was the second grade concert.  Now I advocate as much as I can for my kids and making sure that they are seen in the community and being involved is so very important.  But, sometimes it's just easier to put on our Spider Man pajamas and lay on the couch and watch Scooby Doo.  But last night I decided to have Big Bud participate.  His aide told me she would sit with him beside his class, "because you know he really can't sing and dance."  And all this time I was here thinking that when I dropped him off at school he was Michigan J. Frog---

Anyway, I am in my 17th year of being a mother and so have attended some concerts.  Though I recently learned that in the four years of chorus and band that the teenager participated in, she was only mouthing the words and had no idea how to read sheet music.  So all those concerts, I sat there and listened to her not sing and not play the clarinet.  So the least I could do for Big Bud was the very same thing. 

So we went.  I was anticipating a concert like so many millions of concerts across the land, 100- 7 year olds mumbling something about the holidays, someone crying, the boys in the back picking each other's noses, little brothers and sisters bawling in the audience. 

This is the last song of the concert.  Big Bud is in the very lower right-hand corner sitting with his aide.  He's having a ball...not singing and dancing.   But I want you to listen really closely.  Do you hear the little voice that's a little faster then the others, a little louder?  I'll pan over to him after a while.  In the very left hand corner you'll see a little tiny dude with blond hair and glasses, a blue shirt and black jacket.  That's Big Bud's friend from preschool.  He's still helping out.  I'm pretty sure he just needed to sing extra loud, because he knew that Big Bud couldn't. 

Then just as we were leaving this little girl came up and asked if her mother could take her picture with Big Bud.  Her mother told me that she talks about him all the time.  One more reason why we do the whole Spidey PJ thing, I'm an ugly crier. 

This Christmas if you think you can't do it all, if you can't live up to your own expectations, remember these little kids giving simply a voice or friendship,  joyously.  We should all be so blessed.



  1. Okay, now that made me cry. Bless the kids - no matter what kind they are.

  2. I just finished reading "Knowing Jesse" by Marianne Leone... it is truly amazing how heartwarming kids can be when they're allowed to see each other for who they are on the inside.

  3. Ok, I am crying a lot now....beautiful blog post, Lisa

    Hugs, Kathleen

  4. Mark me down as also crying. Damn.

  5. Lisa, thank you for the lovely comment on my grandchildren.
    You know? sometimes little ones "just" know. My grandson on the end of the photo is autistic and he is such a sweet and special child. I have watched as others gravitate to him, they "just" know. Your Big Bud is adorable, I could hug that sweet face, Char

  6. Okay, I've joined the crying crowd. I am so happy to see your school still does Christmas programs. So many of the schools have stopped because they don't want to step on any toes. What a lose for the young kids and also a loss for us parents and grandparents!