My friend Kim’s girls were excluded from a family wedding and it’s caused a whole heap of pain for all involved. What were the bride and groom afraid of? Most special needs parents are not going to let their children disrupt a special occasion. We will get our kids out of there pronto if things aren’t going well. We live on hyper alert. We’re not here to ruin special occasions, but we would like to be part of them.
I grew up with a boy in my extended family who has Down Syndrome. He is one year older than me. He was ring bearer in our wedding. What he brought to our special day was joy multiplied. Was there a chance Jack would do something unexpected? Yes. And I had point people assigned to him just in case.
The people there loved him. He was in his glory. He had the best day. Jack did his ring bearing duties beautifully. He let out a huge WOO-HOO! when the priest said, “You may kiss the bride.” He made the reception even more fun with all his dancing, at one point landing himself in the middle of a huge circle of cheering fans screaming, “Go Jack! Go Jack!”
We gave him a copy of the reception video, and he took it back to his group home and played it incessantly for months.
Just thinking about it again, I have goose bumps. It makes me happy, to think of him so happy.
How sad that some choose fear over love. Weddings are stressful. People get caught up in wanting to control every detail. But what’s more important, having the perfect wedding? Or valuing the perfection in everyone you love.