Earlier this month, Beckett had back-to-back nights of fun.
Back in June, Pam and I attended a conference in Washington DC organized by a non-profit group formed by a group of parents with kids sharing Carson’s diagnosis – a rare genetic disorder called 7q11.23 duplication syndrome. The name is complicated, but he basically has extra copies of genes within chromosome 7. The first-time conference featured families from across the world as well as doctors and professors who have studied the syndrome.
One of the highlights of the conference for me was a question-and-answer session with a panel of parents. Since there are only two documented cases in Maryland, it was tremendous to be able to hear from parents with diagnosed children of all ages. One of my takeaways was a common theme among all parents.
Since our special needs kids require extra attention, resources and time due to doctor’s appointments and therapies, it’s imperative for parents to carve out alone time with their typically developing child or children. That hit home for us. While we feel we do a decent job of making sure we spend quality time with just Beckett, we left that conference armed with the affirmation that it’s critical for the kid and healthy for the parents.
The good news was we had a lot of ample opportunities this summer, especially one week this month when he had two back-to-back events. The first was a concert at The Freeman Stage with Matt Nathanson and OAR, followed the next night by a WWE event in Salisbury. I have no problem admitting the concert got me much more excited than the fake, or “scripted” as Beckett calls it, wrestling evening.
If I had to describe the back-to-back days with one word, I would say, “uneventful.” That’s a good thing and doesn’t mean it wasn’t memorable.
The concert was the second one of the summer for Beckett, having seen Andy Grammer at Busch Gardens earlier in the summer. He, of course, has no idea how fortunate he is to be able to see concerts this regularly at his age.
He loves live music, so long as he recognizes every song. If he doesn’t know the song, which is bound to happen, he gets bored. That’s why when he is the DJ in the car we do a lot of bouncing around stations.
Fortunately for him he knew more songs than he didn’t at this concert. The highlight was him and his buddy, Stephen, holding up “I Want Peace” signs in the front row as the band played one of its hit songs, “Peace.” They got recognized by the lead singer for their lyric signs, which led to a dueling round of “the floss.”
The next night came the WWE event at the civic center in Salisbury. Beckett’s uncle took him last year because we were out of town. To say it confirmed his love of the “sport” last year would be an understatement.
This year he was amped and ready to sport some of his gear he purchased last year. The only problem being I forgot to grab the stuff Pam laid out to take along when I picked Beckett up from camp.
As we approached the venue, Beckett asked for his Roman Reigns’ gloves and necklace (more like a chain). That’s when I realized I had dropped the ball. Beckett’s reaction was priceless, saying, “you know what that means then, right?” I was fully aware. I would be buying some new gear. His choice this year was a championship belt from the merchandise counter.
As we walked around the venue, I marveled over the big slice of Americana before us. I have always thought the Boardwalk was the best people watching venue around here. I now believe a WWE event in Salisbury tops it.
I was amazed at the passion these folks have for this “scripted” WWE. My brother-in-law and I felt actually out of place because we didn’t sport T-shirts of our favorite wrestlers and we were without our championship belt, which was most commonly just strewn across the shoulder but oftentimes worn around the waist with pride.
Noticing more people were sporting their belt over their shoulder, Beckett began walking around in the same fashion, tapping it every now and again. That made me giggle to myself every time.
Since I was not enthralled with the actual wrestling, it was fun to watch Beckett and his cousins lead chants of their favorite wrestlers and get excited by the entrances and the comedic aspects of the night. Beckett even got into some heated verbal arguments with nearby adults over who was the better wrestler.
Toward the end of the long night, a little girl behind us and her dad accidentally bumped into Beckett’s head as they were leaving. It was a decent knock on the back of the head, but Beckett’s reaction was special.
He took his championship belt off his shoulder and gave it to the little girl. It was one of the kindest gestures I have ever seen because it was purely spontaneous.
Meanwhile, I had to bite my tongue because I know what I paid for that merchandise. One thing is for sure he made that little girl’s night, however.