He brings me more than I give... more laughter and more love.
He shows me what it is to be joyful... in the big and small.
He is a part of my heart... my Buddy. And I would walk anywhere for him.
We walked last Saturday morning... in the sunshine and crisp air. And while those steps were towards a brighter tomorrow, I can hardly imagine a brighter today. A dozen of us gathered as his guys, just moving along the path in conversation and laughter. Gathered for him... and for the others who carry that designer gene that marks them with Down Syndrome.
This was the first Buddy Walk in our area... and our family was thrilled to be a part of it. As we prepared for the day, I gently asked my kids if they knew our friend had Down Syndrome... because I don't know if we've ever talked about it... in all these 12 years. Not because it was a subject taboo... but because it is not who he is; Down Syndrome does not define him, and I just can't imagine that it ever will. He is simply our friend, simply himself. Happy, funny, quirky, persistant, stubborn, unpredictable... and full of life.
There is just something about him... that makes you want to go over and above the call of duty, beyond the extra mile. And if I was thrilled that Eric could join us, our Buddy was even more so. Of course, it was way-cool that Best Friend Eric was there on segway, just for him. Because he knows that he is a special kid... the same way that every other kid knows that they are special. Love and time, laughter and tears... in sunshine and in rain.
And these two... could not have more fun together if they tried. Two friends showing the world that the differences are not obstacles, the differences are meaningless... non-existent in the eyes of a true friend. And they don't even know they are doing it.