Wednesday, October 12, 2011


So often, when you are raising special needs kiddos the focus is on what they can not do -- they can not walk, or they can not talk, or they can not, on and on and on.  In situations where this is happening -- doctor's visits, IEP meetings, etc -- I get very chatty and begin to tell all sorts of stories about my kids. I couldn't stop myself if my life depended on it. I NEED people to see what they CAN DO. My boys -- nor my girls -- are defined by their IN-abilities and I will not tolerate anyway thinking differently.

So now you understand my passion when I write about the Ballet Academy of Arizona's production of Cinderella -- check it out here -- because I feel strongly that we must, we have to, we should be focused on what our kids CAN do and that is exactly what Caroline Atkinson did this weekend at the Herberger Theater!

Our narrator -- Mason wrote the script for Cinderella!

And can I just say that it surpassed our wildest dreams.

Backstage Fairy Godmother -- Victoria Lundeen made all the girls feel beautiful! And she started with Cinderella!

 Starting with the love backstage for each and every child -- special, typical, whatever -- from the myriad of volunteers taking care of the 100 little performers; to the love amongst the cast for each other as friendships were formed, bonds were made and walls were torn down; to the packed-house audiences at both shows who laughed, cried, clapped and were changed.

 It was spectacular.

She has never worn make-up...this was a new thing!
Simply spectacular.

Her favorite part though was the way Victoria fixed her hair!! Oooh-la-la!
 Sisters danced together -- the one without a special need, stating that she had quit ballet when she was younger because she just hated seeing her sister sit and watch. They were gorgeous on-stage TOGETHER Saturday.

I had my special eye-glitter...just to make sure everyone could shine! The Fairy Godmother needed some too!!
 A Fairy Godmother with a special needs child and a world-class ballerina of her own. She has walked the road ahead of us and encouraged, loved and was loved. A gift.

Dear Lousia, a new friend and the Fairy Godmother, me and my sweet Claire -- Cinderella!
 Little girls clasping hands to help older girls who needed just a little help on stage.

Me & one of my little mice.
Young dancers putting down their "look-at-me-attitude" to push a wheelchair gracefully.

Mommies laying down their false paradigms of "we can't." And changing them to "WE CAN and WE DID!"

Another of my mice...Benjamin!

Volunteers who instead of saying "I don't know how," said "Teach me, let me be a part!" lovely!
Tutus cut in half so that they could be tied to wheelchairs.

The wicked sister brother, Len!

 A lot of glitter.

Sweet new friends.

A lot of love.

More new friends....

A blessing to behold. A blessing to experience. An absolute blessing.


Judy said...

What a wonderful attitude to hold. Our children (and adults) can do SO many things. I think the only limitations may be those who don't see the potential. I am so grateful for the vision Caroline and the cast of others had for these lovely children of every ability!

Annette M. Heidmann said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures of beautiful moments!! Just seeing them gave me chills. What tremendous blessings for ALL involved, cast, crew, and audience!!

Claire's Calico Corner said...

What a beautiful blog post, Mom! Thank you for sharing your heart. I agree- aren't we all changed from this experience? And it IS a beautiful blessing.

Mardi said...

You all look awesome! Nice job! Hey, I saw "Laura from The Core Inst" the other day and she said to say hi to you! Small world! ;)