Thursday, December 29, 2011

There's No Santa Claus - So Suck It Up!

As regular readers of my blog know, I have a brother in law with a developmental disability called autism. 

As a result of my involvement with him and a couple of other individuals with autism over the years, I tend to notice when I see or hear someone with an apparent developmental disability when I am out in public.

I should have posted this a week ago when it happened but there was so much going on that I mentally shelved it.  Hence, my last Holiday post of 2011-a few days late.

Last Thursday, I spent my lunchtime in an office building, the Security Mutual building, in downtown Binghamton, NY.  Every year, right before Christmas, they have noontime caroling in their lobby.  I've gone every year for about 5 years now, and it is a treat.

This year, I was standing in the lobby, listening to the caroling, when I became aware of this young man singing along with the carolers. I couldn't help it; he was singing loudly and right in my ear.  Soon, it occurred to me that his voice, while enthusiastic, was also....flat when he wasn't singing.  This can be a sign of autism (and some other conditions).  My brother in law speaks in a very "flat" voice.

As the carolers switched from one song to the next, the young man sang right along, until they sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".  In the middle of the song there was an instrumental section - and the young man decided to add some commentary.

"There is no Santa Claus!" he announced to the crowd.  "So suck it up!"

There were a couple of men, and a woman, standing right next to me and all of them were grinning.

It really was the highlight of the concert to me. (sorry, carolers and musicians.)  I don't know if the young man had autism, but he certainly knew how to speak his mind.

Tonight, I went to You Tube to see if there was video of this year's concert.  There wasn't, but there were several videos of the caroling from last year.   (The music selection tends to remain the same).  If you watch the video at the beginning of the post, you'll find the sound quality is terrible but you will get a little taste of the historic lobby and the love the carolers put into their singing.  I hope you enjoy it.

And while you are at it, remember:  there is no Santa Claus.  So suck it up!

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