Boyband Star by Tyler Gillespie

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

ChristmasSnowBoyBrevity‘s Holiday Smile essay blizzard continues:

For his middle school’s Christmas show, my little brother John and his classmates sang holiday standards.  During their renditions of songs such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a few students kept their heads turned to the floor. They focused on their feet.

John, though, loved the spotlight. He acted as though he fronted a boyband. “Frosty the Snowman” elicited a Chorus-line-kick from him. “O Christmas Tree,” a mini-breakdance. After almost every song, he took a bow. Near the end of the performance, Mom cried, silently, regal-like.

When Mom had found out John would be born with Down syndrome, no one in my family knew what to expect. Two open-heart surgeries, an at-home breathing machine, and twelve years had passed since his birth. Now, he starred in a middle school Christmas show. John took his “curtain…

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