Last week was our dad’s birthday. Ever since we started Upside Down, Leah has shown an increasing interest in being involved with decisions about the blog, especially regarding future topics and future posts. This has fueled my excitement about writing together and given me encouragement on my hope to co-write a book together someday.
So here we are, and it’s dad’s birthday week. Leah has always put effort into the gifts that she gives to those she loves. That said, she has since realized that our blog provides her with a wonderful platform to honor said loved ones. Because of this, despite our recent Father’s Day post on our supportive, rock star, comedian of a father, I was not surprised to receive a call from Leah that she had been working (for over a month) on a post for Dad for his birthday.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m crazy about my dad. I love the idea of an honorary blog post. However, a few posts prior, we had done exactly that.
So here I found myself in a bit of a pickle. Upside Down is a co-written blog, and Leah has just as much say in this as I do. I wanted to honor her request…so I decided that I was going to post what she had written. I opened the attachment that she e-mailed me, fully intending to do this birthday blog post, anddddd it was a four-page storybook. On the Beatles.
What was I supposed to do with this?! I read it and could immediately tell how much time and effort Leah had put into this birthday project. There were pictures and paragraphs, with incredible thought behind each and every sentence. But how does this connect with our readers? Yes, I was definitely in a pickle.
I then spent some time reflecting…thinking. My best “lightbulb” moments come to me either in the shower or on a run. This one happened when I was mid-shampoo.
Write about gifts.
For as long as I can remember, Leah has given the best gifts. Despite a lack of monetary resources, or a vehicle to drive herself to the nearest Target, or having a credit card to make purchases online…Leah has always given the best gifts.
“Leah’s Story About My Dad’s Favorite Band of All Time The Beatles Storybook – For My Dad’s Birthday Present,” was no exception.
Once again, the beautiful people in my world with Down syndrome got me thinking. When was the last time that I had spent that much time on a gift? If I took away the option to drive myself to Target and purchase a candle or a scarf… what would I have come up with? And how much more would it have meant to those people who I love so dearly?
Leah makes it work with what she does have. Not matter what the situation. When she worked at Mangleson’s for a few years (a local Hobby shop in Nebraska), you better believe that every single gift we got those years were things she had picked up on her lunch break at Mangleson’s. And still, she nailed it…every time.
I think what’s most special about Leah’s gifts are that they show that she is invested in the person she is giving the gift to. She has taken enough time to get to know them to acknowledge that Dad’s favorite band is The Beatles, and that he experienced an unforgettable moment this past year when he walked across Abbey Road with his wife and daughter. That our mom’s favorite musical symbol is the Treble Clef sign, and that music makes her heart happy. That I was about to embark on a crazy adventure living in Paris for a year, and that she was excited for me…and supported me…and heard me that this was something very important to me and to my life and wanted to buy me some journals that had the Eiffel Tower on them.
So next time you’re racking your brain, trying to find the perfect gift for your loved one… think…What Would Leah Do? What makes this person’s heart happy? What big moments happened in their life this past year that you can highlight? What future endeavor are they embarking on that you can support? And I promise you that the gift will be better than any expensive gift, any trip to Target, or any Amazon purchase you could ever find.
Here’s to turning our minds Upside Down.
As promised, below is Leah’s present to our dad.
Leah’s Story About My Dad’s Favorite Band of All Time
The Beatles Storybook – For My Dad’s Birthday Present
My Dad’s All-Time favorite Band is the Beatles and his favorite person and singer is Paul McCartney by himself as a solo artist. He has a lot of music and other things of the Beatles with Paul, John, George and Ringo. And Paul McCartney CDs and concert DVDs with Paul. He also has Paul McCartney Concert T-Shirts and Concert Tickets and Special things from the Concerts too. My Dad and My Mom went to a hotel in Kansas City and saw his band in a elevator and at the pool too And got the autographs from the band. And they went to the same hotel with the Band Members and Paul, and Paul’s wife Linda too in the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
One other time we went to see Paul McCartney in Concert in Omaha Nebraska with all of the family and we got a Paul McCartney T – Shirt and other things too I think. We Keep Our tickets for that Concert too and we also got a Paul McCartney Book Program too. We All have a lot of fun and listen to his music in his Concert.
A most very special thing that My Dad and My Mom did was visit My Sister Lindsay in Paris France to be with Lindsay. My sister Lindsay take My Dad and Mom to go to see where Paul McCartney born at Liverpool in England. And they went to the area where they walk on the Abbey Road in London England on their Abbey Road CD. Lindsay asked someone close by to take a picture and that is a very great and Very Special Experience that they had. That was a special time and A Very Special Moment that my Dad had. To see that meant Very Much to him. And it has a Special place in his heart.
This is a Little Paul McCartney Mini Biography about Him and Pictures of these Places too.
When My Dad and My Mom was in Liverpool they went on The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. And see The Proud Family Home of the McCartney Family, Jim, Mary, Paul, and Mike. Also PENNY LANE and Strawberry Fields!!!
One time Me and My Dad and My Mom after we go out for Lunch we went to the Next Place close by to see a Beatles art show at the Museum. We saw paintings of CD Covers and figures too. We have a lot of fun to browse and look around too Downtown in the Old Market.
There is a Paul McCartney Website he likes to browse on and see his things on his Website. My Dad Enjoys very much by reading about his favorite band of all times – the Beatles and about Paul McCartney, My Dad love to spend time and to learn some of his music like Hey Jude and Let It Be and Yesterday and other songs too on the Piano and on the guitar. He enjoys it very much by doing that by Memory and by ear. He also learns his music from his books of music and jams out with his music too. He loves to perform for our family and entertain us.
We also have a The Beatles Rock Band for our WII. With drums and the microphone too and a Guitar. And we all of the family love to play and to jam out and sing along with the WII and take turns to play and sing too. We have a very special family bond all together. We have a lot of great fun and good times together as a family too. And when we have company in town we play Beatles Rock Band and Play their Music and Listen to it too.
I am very happy that my Dad loves his favorite band of all times. I love to hang out with him and listen to the music from the Beatles and Paul McCartney.