Saturday, October 1, 2011

Buddy Walkin': NYC Part I

Oh, yes. It's me again. I'm crazy back.

This whole working in an office - well, hopefully untainted trailer - thing? It's pretty draining. And hostile. But that's a post for another day.

And days are something I have plenty of, actually.

Because it's October.

Yes, already!

Today marks day one of Down syndrome awareness month.

And with that comes one of my favorite ways to celebrate and advocate: 31 for 21.

Grab This Button

I've been doing this for a while now. I'm thinking since I started blogging back in 2008. The way it works is that I, along with many other bloggers, commit to writing every day in October (31 days) in a show of solidarity and support for those with Trisomy 21 (Ds results from having three of 21st chromosome).

If you're interested in joining in, go see Tricia and sign up. You only need a blog, not a direct connection to Ds.

Even though if you're reading here? Allow me to be your secondary connection. I've checked with Playette and she's cool with that.


So, my first post is so late. Of course. But right on time for this effort, which means my procrasti-fatigue paid off in a way. I kept meaning and meaning to write, but with so much to say and photos and videos (which you all totally deserve after a pretty desolate September around these parts), I knew it would take time that I just didn't have.

But I got up early today. Just for you. We have our local Buddy Walk this morning, but there's still plenty of time before that. I went to bed at like 9:30 last night so getting up at 6:30 felt like sleeping in and that I better go do something productive already.

Since milking a cow was not an option, here I am.

Last week was an adventure. For anyone that follows me on Twitter, you got a bit of a participation explosion from me last Friday night. Why?


What seemed like a semi-good idea in the beginning turned out to be a version of torture for me. I mean, logistically, it made sense. We wanted to go to NYC for the Buddy Walk. Rachel Coleman was performing.

[I kinda like seeing my kid lose her ish for Rachel. And then when she gets extra-stalkery, I have to step in, but still. She loves her some Rachel and Signing Time.

Actually, she doesn't call Rachel by name anymore. She calls her "Signing Time." Which would be rude if it wasn't so damn funny to watch her do. Actually, it is still rude, bur Rachel's very, very cool about it.]

Since moving from California, almost anywhere on the east coast seems close. Because we're not a country away from it, right?


New York is not close. Trust me. And the drive to get there from here is painfully boring.

And that's why paying someone else to drive us there sounded positively brilliant! Because, hey, we'd leave at midnight, a mile from our house, we'll save money in the end between gas/tolls/parking/wear & tear on the car, we'll surely just wake up, fully-rested, a few blocks from our destination. What could be better?!

The answer is: a plane. A plane would be better.

A plane doesn't take 6.5 hours. A plane would have only cost $30 more per person. A plane doesn't freak you out by taking you the wrong way in the middle of the night. A plane doesn't make that rumprumprump sound that scares you out of your 3 minute nap because the only time you should hear that is when approaching a toll or running off the road and YOU'RE NOWHERE NEAR A TOLL BOOTH!

Yeah, I was grumpy. And because the last rider had spilled coffee in the seat next to BD, Playette was with me most of the time and she was a slightly less than stellar riding companion. Apparently, between the two of us, one of us needed to stand watch, so, as the "adult", I took one for the team. Yay, me. With no sleep, I was a flippin' peach when we finally disembarked in front of the peep show behind Old Navy.

Classy, I know. You're totally jellus.

I must mention the other reasons we decided to go. Some of our friends have an 18-month-old who also loves Signing Time and since they live in NY, we'd be able to enjoy the day with them. Plus, Central Park just sounded like an awesome place to have a Buddy Walk.

Aaaand, Playette's picture was chosen for the NDSS video in Times Square.

Had to be there. Had to.

Don't know about the video? Here's a clip from the official press release:

"The photo...was selected from over 1,200 entries in the NDSS worldwide call for photos. Over 200 photographs will appear in the video, which will be shown on the larger-than-life MTV plasma screen, located in the heart of Times Square."

Yeah, we had lots of reasons to go.

And, honestly, after that bus ride, things got much better.

We got our bags and walked the short distance to the hotel. Playette was thrilled to get her land legs back and had a ball zipping down the clean and mostly-empty city streets. She did find it necessary to point out to me the people that were sleeping though. I wasn't quite ready to explain homelessness.

When we got to the hotel, they had a room ready (bless them!) and extended the breakfast buffet to us (totally not required, but greatly appreciated). Grateful, we hustled upstairs and took naps before waking up, getting dressed in our gear courtesy of Sheree, housing the buffet, and walking to Times Square.

When we got there, we immediately picked out our peeps, posted up underneath the large screen with the gold frame around it that reminded me of the mirror my mother loved so much when I was in high school and college and that I kept in my own home for many years.

Yup, right between T.O. and LaLa. That was the spot. Superstah!

I took that last picture on Sunday though. Because on Saturday, I was too busy running my mouth to all the people around us like Ben's family, out celebrating his first birthday in full force, and Jewel's whole group of Gems. They really came out to represent for those kids and I loved seeing how much support they had.

I'm doing some thinking right now and choosing not to write it for the world to read, but if I didn't write something in this space, I'd be mad at myself. Infer whatever you wish. How's that?


The video lasted about 20 minutes and Playette showed up right in the middle, with her cute self. I was riveted the entire time because I could not, for the life of me, remember which photo I had submitted, so I was freaking out that maybe I'd miss her. Really? I thought I wouldn't recognize my kid? I'm such a wack sometimes.

When the video is available online, I'll share the link.

If my mother were alive, I probably would have gotten popped right in Times Square for submitting a picture of Playette sitting so unladylike. Oops. Still adorbs though, right? I promise to keep her out of clear heels, 'k, Ma?

Our friends arrived just as the first showing of the video was wrapping up, so we watched the second one, too, before heading to the buses that would take us to the main event.

This seems like the perfect place for a cliffhanger, soooo...

Stay tuned for Part II!

And, if you're so inclined, any donations to any Buddy Walk are tax deductible. If you go to one in your area, let me know. They're fun. We went to three last year and will do the same this year.

If you work for the Feds, both NDSS and NDSC are listed to receive CFC contributions.


Me ;-) said...

Wow! Look at your little Superstar on the big screen! Love it!

krlr said...

That is so very cool... Times Square AND Rachel in one day? It's like Santa & the tooth fairy showing up at your birthday party. Fun!

(though am curious about the mystery place holder - was there drama? celebrities acting badly? the imagination churns...)

Meg said...

Dude, I suck! I'm just now catching up going back this far and lo and behold, we're even mentioned. I'm a crappy blog reader sometimes. We had a great time with you that day! Off to read part two right now!