I wanted time to slow on Saturday. That morning, I promised myself to view the day in slow motion, as if I were a football referee staring into a replay camera, after a coach’s challenge. This singular day, this triumphant moment, would not elude me.
Only, it did.
The whir of a wedding, when you are directly involved, assumes a life of its own. There are so many people to thank, especially when the bride and groom have special needs. In my toast, I thanked everyone. Not only for coming, but for being there for Jillian and Ryan. It does take a village. Everyone at the wedding, all 160 of them, played a part in helping J and R get to this moment. All of them took the time to See our kids, rather than simply Look at them.
Seeing is active. It requires empathy and engagement. Seeing people for who they are, rather than looking at them and passing judgment, is essential. Not only to people like Jillian and Ryan, but to all of us. Don’t judge me by what I look like. See me for who I am. It is a basic civil right.
The wedding was borne on a wind of joy. No one who attended was not moved. Among the best traits of people born with Down syndrome is their singular inability to fake anything. The emotions you see are the emotions you get. They have no agendas, no guile. They’re only occasionally self conscious. On Saturday, that made for two of the most unabashedly happy people the world has ever known.
I commend to your viewing pleasure the video and photos of the event, which will be up here today. My wife Kerry, fresh from orchestrating the wedding, now is free to administer the website. It will get better for her participation. I promise.
That’s it for now.
Expect. Don’t Accept.