One by one the birthday parade of cars came. The decorated cars, the sound of the beeping horns, the people waving as they passed by will long be remembered. Our village had arrived. Not even a global pandemic could stop them from coming to celebrate my daughter’s 22nd birthday.
When a person turns 22 they are no longer eligible for special education services through the school system. It’s still hard to believe that my daughter has reached this point. Never could I have imagined that this is how we would be celebrating her 22nd birthday. She was supposed to be beginning the next part of her journey into adult services and programs. Instead, due to the Covid-19 virus, the day was filled with birthday messages, videos and our village of people.
As I stood on the street and saw our village standing in front of my daughter I was somewhat overwhelmed. We have met so many people on this journey. To see so many of them standing there in front of her was amazing. When we started this journey oftentimes we felt alone. Today, 22 years later, we were anything but alone.
Year after year our village of teachers, therapists, family, friends, neighbors, and yes, even princesses have provided endless help, support, and encouragement. Year after year they have kept us moving forward even when we thought it wasn’t possible. Each of these people play such an important role in my daughter’s life. Together they make up the village that has transformed her into a beautiful young woman who has accomplished many things. There have been times we didn’t agree or understand one another but that didn’t stop them from continuing to care.
It seems that our world at the moment is all wrong. We are in the midst of a global pandemic and there is chaos in streets across the country. It appears that humanity is not existent anymore. But it is. Sometimes it’s hard to find the good when the focus is only on the bad. Despite it being May of 2020, a time that will most likely be recorded in history as a period of chaos and unrest, we will mark our daughter’s 22nd birthday as a day filled with kindness and love. A day our village came out to celebrate a special day for her. A day a group of people stood across the street to support someone else. We are blessed to have our village. We are even more blessed to know what kindness and a sense of community is.