Thursday, October 13, 2011

October?!?! Don't you mean BEARDtober?!?!

Tonight was an interesting night, to say the least.  Interesting ... and interestingly fun.  Being a mom of a 16-month old, I don't get out much these days, and when I do, it's very rarely out to a bar, on a weeknight nonetheless!!!

Well, tonight four of our Down Syndrome Network moms and three of their (willing) husbands, including my sweet Robert, went to the Blind Tiger, a local bar here in Greensboro that is known mostly for its college crowd.  That's weird, you may say.  And, you might ask, Why exactly were you at a bar past 9pm on a Thursday night???  It's a pretty awesomely funny story ...

Well, about two months ago, our DSNGG director Lauri Lyn got an interesting call from a man representing the ... (just wait, this story is about to get weirder) ... The Beard and Moustache Club of North Carolina!!!  Yes, I said it, and yes, it does exist.

It ends up that this group of hairy guys not only has an exclusive club to call their very own, but they hold annual Beard and Moustache competitions!  And, not only do they hold these competitions in our area, but a couple of them have close connections to individuals with Down Syndrome.  So, this year the group decided to donate more than 75% of the proceeds from their competition tonight (wittingly called "Beardtober Fest") to this year's Buddy Walk!!!  How awesome is that?!?!

So naturally I, always game for something new and adventurous, just had to go to see all this manly action myself.  And, surprisingly Robert and I really enjoyed ourselves (to the point where we both kinda wished it was a weekend night instead of a weekday, so we could've stayed longer!!!). 

The crowd of people there was very diverse, but everyone was extremely kind and welcoming.  There were three bands playing (although we could only stay through the first band's set), and it was really fun to listen to live music again, not to mention the band was pretty good.  I can't remember the last time we did something like that.  And, for about an hour or so, Robert and I both felt like we were both right back in college, carefreely swaying to the music, not worrying about the responsibilities of tomorrow.  It was nice.

There were three young adult men with Down syndrome at the event, and watching them enjoy the music and interact with others was a treat for Robert and me.  Lauri Lyn and I got on stage at the beginning of the competition to introduce ourselves, invite everyone to the Buddy Walk, and to thank them for their support of our cause.  Afterwards, a woman in her fifties came up to me to talk to me about her son named Devin who is turning 30 soon and who has Down syndrome.  She said he loved music so much that he wouldn't come over to talk to us, because he couldn't lose his "front and center of the stage" position when the band started playing!!!  The way this woman spoke about her friendship with her son and her commitment to his success gave me goosebumps.  For a few moments, I had a glimpse into my own future.  I almost felt like I was speaking to an older version of myself.

Robert and I talked on the way home about how fun it would be to take Jack to events like that when we're older, and we realized for the first time that Jack may hold the key to our youth.  As we age, we are always going to have this fun-loving, vibrant, charismatic, adventurous best friend by our side to always keep us young.  It makes me think, How did we get so lucky?

I love how fate takes you in the most interesting directions in life, and how most often the situations that you least expect will be the most rewarding.  Who would've thought that I would ever go to a bar on a Thursday night for a Beard and Moustache Competition?  Moreover, who would've thought that doing so would give me such wonderful positive insight into the future of my son and my family?!?!?

1 comment:

  1. sounds like an awesome event! hopefully it can become and annual one! :)