Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: The Real Deal

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Real Deal

Thursday morning brought the official start of the convention. The number of people sharing the hotel and coagulating in happy groups in the lobby grew significantly.

We waited to board the elevator with an attractive, typical-appearing family, and my heart split down the middle as I made the assumption they were on vacation. Perhaps on their way down the street to Disneyland. I felt a small twinge of jealously and anger in my gut. Oh to have a typical child. I very rarely feel sorry for myself anymore, but I allowed myself the indulgence of the feeling for a few seconds. Erik stood nose-to-nose with their little girl and repeatedly said hello, flashing a couple hopeful smiles at her. As we entered the elevator and stood side by side with this family, the doors slid shut, the floor shuddered with the movement of the hidden mechanics of the thing, and there were a couple subtle noises that elevators are generally known to make.

The girl let out an ear-piercing scream and covered her ears tightly in alarm.

My internal Willi-Radar apparently failed to alert me to the presence of fellow parents of a child with WS, and I was completely surprised. Brian and I looked at the other couple and smiled knowingly, feeling for them because this horrible phenomenon was quite familiar to us all. Erik did not break his gaze towards the little girl but very calmly covered his own ears to escape the noise. We exchanged very few words at all. There was no need. These people were not headed to Disneyland for a cacophonous jaunt on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Not this year, anyway.

The doors opened in the lobby, and they were gone.

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Blogger Laura said...

I'm really enjoying reading your descriptions of the convention, it's like being there again. You have such an amazing way with words.

3:32 AM  
Blogger jbgrinch said...

wow, I hope that your trip there was as eye opening as it was touching for me to read. I will look for the next update and be happy in reading that so far you have found it a useful trip.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

It felt like you were talking about Noah when you said about him "saying a hello and smiling". He does the same thing, says "hi" and smiles waiting for them to respond. Thank you so much for posting with such detail.

9:38 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

This sounds normal to me... I've been HERE before! "Erik stood nose-to-nose with their little girl and repeatedly said hello, flashing a couple hopeful smiles at her." Of course... it's been a while now! ~ jb///

2:13 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love being around others with WS or people who are at least part of the family. They can be approached with a smile and repeated "Hi" and be totally understanding and accepting. Other people,'outsiders', just look at the kid like they are from another planet. I mean who on Earth anymore goes out of their way to greet people with such passion. No one. We can really learn a thing or two off of these kiddo's.
I am so glad you went to the convention, cause now I am not missing anything. xoxo

4:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow I love it when you write. I hope you spot us at the covention one of these times...I bet it was pretty funny in that elavator, kids ;)

9:00 PM  

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