This Christmas we took on The Big Apple. Our first stop was to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and boy, what a show it was! It was magical, especially for our daughters Danielle and Shannon. Danielle was mesmerized by the dancers, the music, and all the graphics. Shannon, who is active in high school chorus and musical theatre, loved watching the Rockettes perform in one of the most famous theaters in New York.
After the show we walked across the street to the Rockefeller Center ice rink. Danielle, who has autism, participates in Special Olympics in the sport of figure skating, and we wanted her to have the chance to skate on this iconic ice. In fact, we carried her ice skates all around the city just to make this happen. She gracefully glided around the rink with the other skaters while Christmas music played in the background. She was in her element and she was beaming!
People come from all over the world to skate at Rockefeller Center. It is a special place and Danielle seemed to know that she was skating in someplace special. Because of her autism, it’s difficult to know how much Danielle understands. She is non-verbal and can’t tell us. Yet she shows us how she feels every day. She showed us that skating in Rockefeller Center meant something to her, that she was no different than all the others out on the ice under the shadow of skyscrapers and one of the biggest Christmas trees you’ll ever encounter.
A few days later at home we watched the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center on TV. We hoped Danielle made the connection that this was where she had skated. Perhaps we shall never know, but in our hearts we hope that she carries the experience with her throughout her entire life, and that this iconic skate continues to bring her much joy.
Copyright 2017 David and Mercedes Rizzo