To say my son loves movies is an understatement. His DVD collection includes 571 movies (to be exact). I know this because I help him maintain an alphabetized spreadsheet, which we update often and keep in a treasured binder.
He organizes his DVDs in a large cabinet. And though he doesn’t read, he recognizes all the titles by sight (not just the cover photo) and organizes them alphabetically. If you ask him to find a specific DVD, he knows exactly where it is. He also has an uncanny ability to know when one is missing. Like when his sister borrows one without asking…
One of his favorites is “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
I have to admit that I like the Chipmunks too. They remind me of my childhood. But several rounds of high-pitched chipmunk voices singing “Christmas Don’t Be Late” doesn’t always bring harmony to our home. It doesn’t take long for his dad to yell, “Stephen, turn that down!” To which Stephen answers (in an Alvin voice), “Ohhh-K!”
Several years ago, I surprised Stephen with tickets to a live performance with Alvin and the Chipmunks. I worried about him being older than most of the audience, but I also knew how much he would enjoy it. I just hoped we wouldn’t draw too much attention. As it turned out, Stephen got a lot of attention that night. But in the most magical way!
As we sat waiting for the performance to begin, I noticed a young woman appear from behind stage. The next thing I knew, she was walking toward us. She introduced herself to Stephen and asked if he liked to play the drums. She then asked if he would be willing to come up on the stage and perform with the Chipmunks band during the second act.
She explained that the script called for Theodore to get sick, and they would need someone from the audience to take his place. She would call him by name and meet him at the corner of the stage when it was time for him to perform. Stephen excitedly agreed.
I, however, was a bundle of nerves. What if he got stage fright? What if he didn’t understand what to do? But then it happened. Right on cue, Theodore got sick – and the other Chipmunks began calling for Stephen to take his place at the drums. Stephen walked right up on stage and seated himself behind the drum set. As the band played, a video with Stephen drumming was shown on a huge screen. I don’t know how they rigged it, but the drumming was right on beat.
The crowd went wild!
When the scene was over, Stephen returned to his seat and enjoyed the rest of the show. Afterwards, in the lobby, everyone congratulated him. Several parents asked to take his photo with their children. He truly was a star! And I was one proud mom.
Celebrate your child often and with joy.
“Hopelighting” is a compilation of heartwarming stories featuring El Paso children with disabilities. It was written by parents for parents, educators and service providers who work with children with disabilities.
Categories: Family Support