Joy to the world,
All the boys and girls now,
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,
Joy to you and me.
These are the lyrics Alex has been practicing in her room for the last two weeks for her recent stint as a rock start.
I love these lyrics, although I am not quite as crazy about the Jeremiah was a bullfrog part of the song. However, the joy to the world refrain is such a great summation of what Alex brings to our family. Kismet again; Alex picked this song to perform.
We have known for a month Alex would be invited to perform with the Banjo Man at the annual WindWalkers benefit. Alex went through all her 70’s, 80’s and 90’s song lists and finally settled on her songs. We picked two, knowing full well, she would be asked to perform an encore. The second song was completely inappropriate for a 16 year old – Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, but definitely a crowd pleaser.
There is nothing like the sight of a 16 year old girl with down syndrome, on a stage rocking to Three Dog Night. I would venture to guess that all 150 people in the room where smiling and clapping just like me. I would also guess that almost half the audience had tears of joy, just like me. To say Alex brought down the house is almost an understatement.
In this excitement, Alex's off key singing and improvised chords were not noticed. The sheer happiness of her performance was enough for the audience. Her smile was so big, it was contagious.
We have, in the past, given Alex guitar lessons. She really liked her instructor, Tommy P, and even learned a few chords. As I appreciate it, once she got to her room and her Karaoke machine, her chords became vey creative. It took me about five lessons to realize that she loved spending time with Tommy P, but practicing was not her thing. I decided to save the money and she is now self trained (or perhaps I should say – creatively trained). It seems to work for her and her audience.
I know in the next few weeks when Alex is driving me crazy I can look back on this evening. I will remember my pride and joy at watching my extraordinary daughter work her magic. I will remember the smiles and happiness she brought to 150 people, many who did not even know her, and it will calm me. It was an enchanting evening.