I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

"An Elf With Down Syndrome"

Blogging Friends.... Well, I did it!! I complete my 2014 New Year's Resolution of writing twelve fictional books in 365 days!! Wow. Me, the one step forward, two steps back flawed personality type?! I actually started something.... And finished it?! This calls for a Happy Dance!! In my wooden "office" chair. As though I am "hip swaying" to Elvis Presley's version of "Here Comes Santa Claus". With my arms up like Tony Stark in Iron Man 3. Oh. Yeah, wow!! I am truly proud of myself for this accomplishment!! Twelve fictional books. In 2014. And keeping this New Year's Resolution has not been easy.... Especially toward the end!! In July? We switched my sister and brother's bedrooms up. In August? We experienced a last hurrah of Summer when our dear, dear friends drove up from Idaho. In October? If memory serves me right--and it seldom ever does!!--we began watching my nieces, "Amethyst" and "Opal" three days a week. But I managed!! Somehow!! I am already excitedly anticipating 2015--and have been for months!!--because I intend to write twelve more fictional books!! Stay tuned!! Love you later.

Sorry for posting this fictional book eight days into December. Eight freakin' days!! First we were busy, busy, busy. And then it has seemingly taken me longer to edit this fictional book than write it!! Ridiculous!!

I have an adult brother--named Michael--who has Down syndrome!! He is my best friend, roomie, and a far better person than me!! Several months back? I wrote an Independence Day-themed fictional book and named a character Brayden after somebody who I very much love. Shortly thereafter? My youngest brother asked that I name a character Michael!! "Can he have Down syndrome.... Like you?" I asked. Michael did not hesitate. "Yeah," he answered. "Can I write it for October?" I asked. That is when Down Syndrome Awareness Month is!! Michael only had one request. That I write this fictional book for December!! Michael had his logical reason why, but I will not mention it here!! I then decided to make this fictional book Christmas-themed!! Because I can!! And it was quite the nerve wrecking story for me to write!! Why? Because while I usually write for God's Glory and myself? This time? I was also writing for Michael!! And I did not want to disappoint him!! But I received the Michael Seal of Approval!! Score!! Although Michael love, love, loves music, he does not play {Or build!!} most of the instruments mentioned throughout this fictional book!! And I do not play anything!! So that being mentioned. I am quite ignorant on musical notes, melody, harmony, rhythm and such!! Anyhoo. I did quiz Michael on his favorite Christmas songs. That was fun!! I included most of his favorites in this fictional book--minus "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"--so you have my full permission to sing along!!

Disclaimer. This is purely a fictional story. Although I know that children and adults with Down syndrome are small/short, I mean zero disrespect in any way, shape, or form to these Beautifully Unique individuals by making Michael Thomas an elf!! I just thought I'd express this!!

"An Elf With Down Syndrome"

The North Pole is a place where temperatures are freezing cold and never-ending white snow piles clear up to your knees or higher. {Unless, of course, you are an elf!! Being small in size, the never-ending snow piles clear up to their chests or higher!!} It is a magical place where Santa Claus lives. His nine reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph fly as though they are unicorns. While wearing red-colored harnesses, they pull Santa Claus' green-painted sleigh around the world every single Christmas Eve as he delivers presents. It is where Santa's Workshop was built many, many, many years ago. And during Christmastime? Santa's Workshop is a very busy place as his elves create toys for every nice child. {And the naughty kids, too!!}

But an elf named Michael Thomas is different from all of Santa Claus' other helpers. {In more ways than one!!} Like all of Santa Claus' other elves, Michael Thomas is small in size. But he has brown-colored almond-shaped eyes. A long tongue. Michael Thomas' head is round. He has a short neck. Michael Thomas' pointy ears are small. He has a cute little button nose. The middle of Michael Thomas' small hands have one deep crease across them. He has a gap between his big toe and second toe. Blond-haired, Michael Thomas' smile has been known to spread Christmas cheer all around the North Pole!! This elf has Down syndrome!! And another way that Michael Thomas is different from all of Santa Claus' other helpers? Rather than create toys for children, he makes musical instruments!!

Michael Thomas builds complete drum sets. He makes harmonicas in every key available. Michael Thomas builds acoustic, bass and electric guitars. He creates keyboards. Michael Thomas builds red and green hand-painted maracas. All so that every musical instrument is ready to be delivered on Christmas Eve!! As a matter of fact. If it is a musical instrument {Bamboo flute? Violin? Bongo drums? The list goes on and on and on....} then Michael Thomas can definitely build it!! One December afternoon, young Rudolph--who was new at the North Pole--heard a steady rhythm coming from Santa's Workshop.

"What is that?" asked Rudolph, "Drum beats....? Where is it coming from?"

Rudolph listened curiously. Then he heard Michael Thomas' voice sing: "Little Baby, pa rum pa pum pum, I am a poor boy too, pa rum pa pum pum, I have no gift to bring, pa rum pa pum pum, that's fit to give our King, pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, shall I play for You, pa rum pa pum pum, on my drum...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'Little Drummer Boy'!!"

Rudolph looked inside through a window. Well, he tried to, at least!! For the windowsill had white snow piled up on it!! So Rudolph could not see inside!! He balanced on his back legs and brushed it away with one front hoof.

"Michael Thomas?!" exclaimed Rudolph, "He is playing on a red-painted drum set!! Wow....!! He is very talented!! Michael Thomas really has some rhythm going!! And he can sing, too!!"

Just then Prancer--who was older and has lived at the North Pole for several years now--walked by. He overheard what Rudolph had said.

"Michael Thomas can play the drums and sing!!" announced Rudolph.

"Yes!!" explained Prancer, "You are absolutely correct!! That is our elf, Michael Thomas!! He builds musical instruments for every nice child who wants one!! {And the naughty kids, too!!} Then he plays Christmas songs on every musical instrument before Santa delivers them!! It is a years-long North Pole tradition around here!! Everybody has come to excitedly anticipate Michael Thomas' beautiful music!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of harmonicas. {First? It was in a C key. Second? It was in an E key. And third? It was in a G key.} Then they stopped. Soon Rudolph and Prancer heard Michael Thomas sing: "Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh, over the fields we go, laughing all the way. Ha, ha, ha! Bells on bob tail ring, making spirits bright, what fun it is to ride and sing, a sleighing song tonight. Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, Hey! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh, what fun it is to ride, in a one horse open sleigh...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'Jingle Bells'!!"

"Yes!!" explained Prancer, "Michael Thomas is very talented indeed!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of an acoustic guitar. Next? They heard the sound of a bass guitar. And last but not least? They heard the sound of an electric guitar. Then Michael Thomas sang: "We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we travel afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star, o star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'We Three Kings'!!"

"Correct!!" said Prancer.

"This is so much fun!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "Which musical instrument will Michael Thomas play next?! I wonder!! Which Christmas song will Michael Thomas sing next?! I hope it is 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer'. That's my song, you know!!"

"I haven't a clue!!" smiled Prancer, "It is anybody's guess!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of maracas shaking. Then Michael Thomas sang: "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'Feliz Navidad'!!"

"Very good!!" replied Prancer, "That was a hard one to guess right!! But you did it!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of keyboards. {First? It was a sixty-one key keyboard. Second? It was a seventy-six key keyboard. And third? It was an eighty-eight key keyboard.} Then Michael Thomas sang: "Joy to the world! The Lord is come, let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'Joy To The World'!!"

"Correct!!" replied Prancer, "Michael Thomas has said that this Christmas song is fun to play on any musical instrument because it's fast paced!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of bamboo flutes. Then they stopped. Soon Michael Thomas sang: "On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven Swans a swimming, six Geese a laying, five golden rings! Four calling birds, three French Hens, two Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is '12 Days Of Christmas'!!"

"Correct!!" laughed Prancer, "Boy is that Christmas song hard to sing!! I can never remember where we are, the first day or the twelfth!!"

"Oh, but it is so much fun!!" said Rudolph, "Kind of silly. But so much fun!!"

Young reindeer!! Prancer thought, smiling, Their minds are filled with such wonder!! I love it!!

"Have you heard The Muppets sing '12 Days Of Christmas'?" asked Prancer, "It is so much fun!! Especially with Miss Piggy's crazy 'Ba-da-bum-bum' in the end!!"

"No, I have not heard it!!" answered Rudolph.

"Oh, you should!!" said Prancer, "You'll love it!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of violins. {Children's arm lengths can vary. So Michael Thomas builds violins in all kinds of sizes!! From 1/16 to 3/4.} Then Michael Thomas sang: "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet Head. The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'Away In A Manger'!!"

"Yes!!" said Prancer, "'Away In A Manger' is really fun for many small children to sing!! Do you know why? Because there are hand signals to it!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the sound of saxophones. Then they stopped. Soon Michael Thomas sang: "Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it you would even say it glows, all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names, they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games, then one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say: 'Rudolph with your nose so bright won't you guide my sleigh tonight?' then how the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee, 'Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!'"

"It is my song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "Finally!! Michael Thomas played and sang 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer'!!"

"Yes he did!!" said Prancer, "I like that song!!"

A few short minutes later, Rudolph and Prancer heard the steady rhythm of bongo drums. Green-painted, they were tall. Then Michael Thomas sang: "O holy night, the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear Savior's birth, long lay the world in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth, a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices. O night divine, O night when Christ was born, O night divine, O night, O night divine...."

"I know that song!!" exclaimed Rudolph, "It is 'O Holy Night'!!"

"You really know your Christmas songs!!" said Prancer, "Wow!! You have guessed every single song right!!"

Just then, Michael Thomas walked through Santa's Workshop's door and stepped outside. He was not carrying any musical instruments in his hands. The moment Michael Thomas' brown-colored almond-shaped eyes saw Rudolph, he noticed something different about him. Something unique. Unlike all of the other reindeer's black noses, Rudolph's was bright red!! Michael Thomas did not say a word. He just spread Christmas cheer and smiled at Rudolph. For Michael Thomas loved that this reindeer was one-of-a-kind. Just like him!! And the moment Rudolph saw Michael Thomas, he knew that this elf has Down syndrome. He knew that this elf was born different. Just like him!! Rudolph did not say a word, either. He just smiled back at Michael Thomas. For there was a definite "special needs" connection between them!! Finally, Michael Thomas broke the silence when he started singing "Wonderful Christmastime". And soon everybody sang along with!!

"The moon is right, the spirits up, we're here tonight, and that's enough, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, the party's on, the feelin's here, that only comes, this time of year, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, the choir of children sing their song, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding, ooh, ooh, we're simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, the word is out, about the town, so lift a glass, ahh, don't look down, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, the choir of children sing their song, they practiced all year long, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, ding, ooh, ooh, the party's on, the spirits up, we're here tonight, and that's enough, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, we're simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, the moon is right, the spirits up, we're here tonight, and that's enough, we're simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, simply havin' a wonderful Christmastime, oh, Christmastime."