More Things I Should Have Said

Yesterday, we filmed a reality show at the ranch – four teens in expensive clothing

“Giving back” by volunteering.

I was dubious, my staff and I watched the show and saw vapid, handsome, entitled teens prancing and hair tossing. I met with our staff and they were ready to defend with their lives the dignity of our kids and the safety of our horses.

Watching anxiously just outside the camera’s view we let our kids and our horses take over

It was good.

Very good.

There were chase games and capturing games and our kids demanding stories about unicorns. There were piggyback rides and it all spontaneously ended with a dance party in the arena with tutus and hula hoops and dogs. The teens in fancy clothes were laughing and running and serving and falling on the ground in their expensive threads. They messed up their hair, they kissed the dogs on the nose and they opened their hearts to our families.

I have no idea what the camera saw. I don’t have control of what the directors will cut and what the tween watchers will see and understand – but what I witnessed was our quirky kids bringing out the very best in others.

And it was good.

Very good.

At the end, several of us shared a meal and laughs. We recalled some stories and I absolutely must write this memory down:

Quirky Kid #1: “my sister has William’s Syndrome. Do you have William’s Syndrome?

Quirky Kid #2 “No.”

Quirky Kid #1 “Do you have autism?”

Quirky Kid #2 “No.”

Quirky Kid #1 “Well, what do you have?”

Quirky Kid #2 thinks for a minute and answers “Barbies, I have Barbies.  Do you want to play with them?”

File this under “Things I should have said”

When we encounter something strange or different – something we don’t understand – at first there is Rejection, and Avoidance.

With education, we develop Tolerance.

With love and patience and a little luck, this morphs into Acceptance.

But where the magic happens – what Square Peg strives to build in every interaction we engage in – the rare transformative space – is Celebration.

Celebrating the differences in each of us – letting our quirky side show – finding joy and innocence and supporting each other with Celebration and the freedom to be your most unique and most precious self.

It’s an important message to send to awkward tweens watching a reality show where everyone is well dressed and attractive.

But I failed.  Because I didn’t think to say this. It came to me in the early hours of the morning of a sleepless night. I spent all week thinking how I’d manage the message. I’d get two minutes to talk to these reality TV stars about what Square Peg is all about and hope it would translate onto the screen.  I penned it out – I reached out to colleagues and even to our Social Media. I failed to get the message together.

But did I?

Turns out – our kids, horses, dogs and goats, our staff and volunteers didn’t have to tell them – they showed them.

And it was good.

Very good.

The episode will air in early September – I will keep you posted.

Peace out

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