Special Needs Dad 365

Different is Special
Last night, Hailey and I went to see her friend in a performance of "Elf" at a local high school. Yes, Elf, as in the Christmas story. They tried to schedule it before the end of the year but the timing didn’t work out. The show was performed by freshman and I will say, they did an amazing job!

After it was over, I sang Christmas carols all the way home. It made me miss the Christmas season already. I went as far as to say we should pick one day a month to have a mini Christmas celebration or pull out a tree and add one ornament to it each month until the holidays. Perhaps a new song is in order...The 12 Months of Christmas?

The show was directed by a recent University of South Florida graduate named Jordan Bertke. Aside from the show itself, I was moved by his notes in the playbill. He called it “Jordan’s Journal” and wrote, “Elf is a story loved by many and not only is it simple fun with its high comedy, but it also has very important messages that we need to remember. Love and family are more important than money and we must embrace diversity. Many characters are quick to shut out our hero because he is from another place and doesn’t act like them, but once they welcome him into their lives, they find the happiness they always wanted. Let us follow this example and accept all people as we live our lives.”

Accepting people for who they are is a very important message indeed. Whether you are the parent of a child with special needs, you have a medical condition yourself, or are completely healthy, we all want acceptance for our kids and ourselves. It is when we are welcomed into the lives of others that we can enrich their worlds. I have seen Livy do it over and over again. Once someone meets her, hears her story, and sees her for who she is, they are transformed in many ways. Never forget that we are all different. It’s what makes us special.