Once upon a time (a true story), my parents thought it would be cool to include me in a local Baby Contest. The judges for the newspaper gave me 3rd place and a star was born. Then some nice people from the ARC in our county included my picture with my parents for a calendar fund-raiser. I liked our matching outfits and everyone knew us as the "orange family." Around this time, the great people with AMBUCS included me on the cover of their magazine because they liked how I was learning to ride my new Amtryke. My mom thought we were on a roll so she entered my picture in the National Down Syndrome Society's Times Square Video contest and those people up in New York really liked my golf swing picture. They must have thought I looked like Tiger Woods because they included my picture as one of the winners. Well, what do you think happened next? Television reporters came to my house and asked me questions and took more pictures. One of the reporters was once in a beauty pageant and she was real, real pretty. The ABC and CBS stations included me on TV. They liked the picture and they liked hearing me identify most of the 100 Great Wonders of the World in the interview. Since my Daddy is a project manager and builds churches, he teaches me things at the Lowe's Kids Clinics because that store includes me, too. We've built a tool box, a fire engine, a bird house, a miniature golf set and other cool stuff. Mommy loves to read, so I help her read books to younger children at our Public Library. We also taught the kids some fun sign language words because that is how I used to communicate before I started talking. Some important people called the "Library Board" asked me to show how I memorized books so I got to read to them, too. I won 2nd place in the Summer Reading Program because I sat quietly while 122 books were read to me and then did hand-over-hand writing of the book titles with the Boy Scout who read to me. Inclusion is so much fun! I sit very, very still at City Council meetings and then shake hands with the leaders of our town. It's important to be included even at my age. One of them wants me to recite the Pledge of Allegiance soon. I'll have to check my schedule. My grandpa asked me to come up on stage at his church to recite all of Psalm 23. I liked the big microphone. And the audience liked what I said. I wasn't sure why they all cried but Mommy said it was because they were crying happy tears. God includes all of us, you know. Inclusion is part of my socialization because I'm home-schooled and, oh yeah, I forgot to tell you...I am only five years old.