The puzzle pieces began to fall into place and finally we knew what it was called- Greyson was diagnosed with autism. Parker was eleven months old at the time. We were blessed with another perfect boy with sparkly blue eyes. As time passed we realized that Parker also has autism. Now I am a student of this new world of Special Needs- which we call Super Powers because it better defines them. Anyone who has loved a child with Super Powers knows they have an ability to bring out the very best in everyone they meet. If that's not a Super Power then I don't know what the term even means in the first place.
And today it hit me- Why can't Greyson and Parker be Gap models? I should be the last person to limit them, certainly not the first. Chances are my boys won't really follow directions, or stand still in a specific spot for a picture, they probably won't be like any of the models you have previously worked with- but they would help create an impactful, diverse and memorable message unlike anything the world has ever seen. Diversity isn't just about skin color. I would even be honored to help with the photography.
Like Martin Luther King, I have a very important dream for our future. A dream where my children, and children everywhere with "disabilities" are a regular part of mainstream advertising. The boys are wearing GAP clothes in every shot. These are the real, everyday children wearing your clothes while joyfully exploring the world.
I have a dream where children with Special Needs are loved, understood and accepted. A dream where these children can grow up believing they can be anything they want to be. Because it is the truth.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized- A campaign showcasing the beauty of children with Super Powers is exactly what clothing companies need. I applaud the value of diversity in marketing. But the world still needs more real and less perfect. I want to help show the world what we as their parents already have the privilege of knowing - These are some of the most amazing and beautiful children in the world, and they deserve to be seen and celebrated. These kids struggle to overcome things that come so easily to the rest of us. Things we take for granted. They teach us about patience, hard work, unconditional love and how to find the truest of beauty in the unexpected.
I'm just one Mom, giddy in love with her boys, and I need your help to change the world while redefining beautiful. Children with Super Powers are beauty living out loud. They are our future, and they are perfect, exactly the way God made them. April is Autism Awareness month- what a perfect time to begin something absolutely amazing.
All photos by Chrissy Kelly