Today’s post comes from Valerie Baker, an awesome mom who came up with a fun and creative way to celebrate her son Derek’s 21st birthday. Read more of what Valerie had to say about the exciting weekend!
How does a mom adequately celebrate the 21st birthday of an amazing young man with Down syndrome, who lights up the world of everyone around him and dreams of being a pop star? She and 24 others from Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and New York City, drive or fly to Music City (Nashville TN), home of Broadway Street and the best Honky Tonks anywhere!!!
Saturday night we enjoyed live music at the Grand Ole Opry. At midnight, Derek ordered his first beer – Bud Light, of course! Dilly! Dilly! The day of his birthday, Derek and 20 people who love him donned their “Derek Baker Nashville Bar Crawl” t-shirts and began his celebration on April 8th, 2018 around 11am. Our goal? To get Derek on 21 Stages in Nashville. Little did we know what was in store for us!
On Stage 1, the band and crowd sang “Happy Birthday.” On Stage 2, we met a fantastic up-and-coming artist, Amber DeLaCruz, who had Derek on stage for almost 10 minutes and tagged him in an Instagram post on April 11th saying, “This guy stole my heart Sunday #happybirthdayderek.” On Stage 12, Derek took over the keyboard and got the crowd in a frenzy! 11 hours later, the final 11 of us enjoyed the 21st stage!!!
What an incredible journey it was! What a blessed boy Derek is! And the rest of us also,
with such amazing family and friends! We collected lots and lots of laughs, hundreds of hugs, 3 drum sticks, 2 back up dancers, several guitar picks, a light stick from Bridgestone (according to Derek, a light wand), a $100 bill and forever memories! The day was beyond my imagination of all it could hold for Derek! PRICELESS!!!