Down the Lane: My grandson the unlikely star

Published 9:36 am Thursday, February 2, 2017

By Sue Staton

Sun columnist

During a conversation with my daughter Shanda last week, I learned that my grandson, Simon would be getting to perform in a play at Conkwright Elementary School.

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Her comment was that she had no idea how on earth his teachers would be able to put Simon in the  school play. I did not care how it would happen. I was not going to miss getting to see him in a school play.

As most of my readers know, Simon does not walk or talk, because of Kneist dwarfism and other health conditions he’s had since birth.

In reality, the fact he lived long enough to go to school is a miracle. So, I guess you could imagine how excited we were to think that he would be included in the school play.

Simon’s fan club showed up and waited in anticipation to see just how Simon would get to participate. Boy, were we ever surprised! If anyone had told us he would be a major part of the play we would have never believed it. It took seeing to believe it.

You see, a great deal of thought had gone in to the school play with the “Freeze Frame” Production. All of the students did a great job and it was definitely an enjoyable night watching all the students singing and dancing and being frozen into time with each scene. There were even the television announcers on stage.

However, there was only one child that stood out above all the rest to me: Simon Andrew Cecil, who was the television cameraman. With a makeshift camera reel attatched on the side of his wheelchair, Simon entered and a hushed “Awwwww,” went through the audience.

What was so precious was a young man was willing to give up his part of holding the camera when he heard they wanted Simon to get to do something in the play. He gave up being the cameraman so that Simon could be the cameraman. He volunteered to push Simon around the stage for it to look as though Simon was trying to get better shots with the camera.

Simon looked as though he knew just what he was supposed to do and as we watched as Simon was on stage for every scene. He seemed to be enjoying himself on stage.

Just a few years ago, I would have probably cried throughout. School and his teachers have done wonders for our little precious Simon. He now feels right at home in school on most days unless he is not feeling well.

A little girl whom I did not know decided she wanted to sit beside me during the performances. I whispered to tell her  the little boy in the wheelchair was my grandson and she said, “Oh, I know Simon.” It seems the kids there do all know Simon. Then, a little later, she whispered and told me, “Simon is happy.” I could hardly believe it that the kids actually know his moods.

You see when Simon is happy he moves his head back and forth and he was doing so on the stage at that moment.

It gave me a great feeling in knowing how blessed we have been that Simon has had the teachers and the love he has needed and received at Conkwright Elementary School.

It was so sweet of them to include him since his chances are so limited in getting to participate in the normal school functions.

Simon did a great job just being Simon. You see, Simon is special in his own way and it is the only way he knows how to be. The people who are around him fall in love with him. You can’t help it. He has a personality all his own and it is lovable.

After the program, Simon’s fan club all swooped down on him like the paparazzi. We were all beaming and getting pictures but right along beside us were his teachers and they were beaming also. I think they knew how happy they had made us. It was a night I will never forget.

Simon has been a star in our family for nine and a half years now. However, we have had to keep it to ourselves, now we can share it with the world.