Finding Love at the Lake Pointe Inn
When I was three years old, my parents and I spent a summer in the Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin, where my father was taking some graduate level courses for his master’s degree. I don’t remember much about this time of my life except that I had a very special friend named Timmy.
Timmy would come to the house, uninvited, and just let himself in, which used to startle my demure mother and completely delight me. I looked forward to Timmy’s unsolicited appearances and besides my father, to whom I was hopelessly devoted, Timmy was the first man to win my heart.
Timmy and I had many adventures together that summer, most of which I only have vague recollections but given my later adept skill at climbing trees, I have to wonder if I learned that from my Timmy. My only sibling was a baby brother, who was too young to be my confidante and contemporary thus I came to adore Timmy, much like an older brother. Timmy entertained me, he was my escort to the back yard, my consort in an imaginary world of my own creation, and my willing co-conspirator in three-year old mischief. He had an innocent glow about him that even at my young age, I didn’t observe in others. Timmy was magical.
One day, while my mom was tending to my brother, I asked Timmy if he could get me a cup of water. He was much taller and could reach the faucet, while I was too little to even see the sink. Timmy, eager to be of service, crawled up onto the counter to find a cup, clumsily filled it and handed it to me. I gulped down the liquid only to realize that the water was warm. This shocked me as I was very thirsty and had anticipated a cool swill. Timmy looked at me expectedly. “Thank you Timmy!” I said, practicing my best manners. I didn’t want him to see my distaste, because I knew he had tried to please me. Maybe at his house, they served their beverages warm – what did I know, I was only three.
My first lesson in diplomacy and decorum.
In a recent walk down memory lane with my parents, I mentioned my friend Timmy, to which my mother replied “Oh yes, the young neighbor boy with Down Syndrome.”
My magical Timmy had Down Syndrome?
I pondered this for many days after the conversation with my parents. I was intrigued by the idea that my first knight in shining armor was a young man who would be viewed by modern day society as deeply flawed. Then it hit me. Magic.
Dare to love someone exactly as they are
I loved Timmy for exactly who he was, and he loved me the same – a seemingly supernatural phenomenon for humans. Gloriously human. Lives scarred; a journey of mistakes, failures and regrets, balanced with moments of intense joy, success and wondrous learning experiences – relationships can be challenging as challenging as they are rewarding.
In a world that considers aging a disgrace, demands perfection of our elected officials, and pays countless millions to arrogant and debased athletes, it takes immense courage to be authentic.
During this month of celebrating lovers, dare to love someone exactly as they are, without expectations, without an agenda and without pretense.
Do you believe in magic? Me too.
Happy Valentine’s Day.