Macbeth: The Journey

Thorin had his final summer camp last week at the children’s museum. It was theater class and the play was Macbeth. Think a less bloody and more funny Macbeth.

When Thorin walked in the first day the theater teacher said: “Oh, Thorin, I have waited months to get you in a class. It’s finally happened!”

He melted into the railing he had been leaning against and his mouth made a perfect little O. I was fairly certain I was going to start crying so I got out of there quick.

I texted Ward in the car: “Thorin is adored! I think this is going to be his dreamy, great teacher experience.”

He texted back: “Just see how it goes okay? We need TP.”

I couldn’t be dissuaded though. I knew this was it! And it was. Thorin was moony all week.

The next morning he showed up for breakfast with crown on his head. My heart skipped a beat!

“So, your wearing a crown, uh?” trying to be nonchalant.


“You know who’s going to love that?”

Before I could continue, Ward yelled over me from the other room: “Kari, please come and help me with something right now.” That is always code for: “Kari, tone it down.”

The third day I picked Thorin up, he was center stage, reclining on a padded bench ala Ophelia staring at her and refusing to go home.

The fourth day he ran away from the group during class returning only after she came for him.

To see Thorin connecting with someone who loved what he loved was a dream come true for me. Learning, teaching and finding passions are intangible gifts that help define us. This teacher saw Thorin.

I see him all the time at home. He is Hulk eating pop corn; a dancing mouse; a ghost; all The Avengers; an old man with a cane; a horse; and a zombie. The other day he pretended to shoot hoops. I said: “Great shot!” He said: “I missed that one.”

Last year Thorin took theater class every month, each a week long, and he never did the final performance.

His teacher held out hope he would this time. Thorin also held out hope.

As I waited outside the theater I saw a crowd gather for all the other students. We had decided not to invite anyone because in the past it seemed to raise the stakes for Thorin. As the teacher walked through she looked at me and shook her head no. I texted Ward: “I wish you were here.”

When I walked in to take my seat I saw Thorin waiting for me in the audience.

“No” I said.


As we sat together he leaned his head against my arm.

“Did you have the best time this week?”

He nodded yes.

“Well, that’s the point. You did what you loved.”

How does a boy who is mostly not understood– speak before an audience? The answer is he doesn’t – yet.

He and I held hands as the play started. Ward came in later.

After Ward kissed the top of his head he said: “I wanted to see the play with you, Thorin.”

Thorin stretched his arms up placing on hand on each of our shoulders and very quietly said: “Yay! Mom, Dad and Thorin!”

When it ended and after the applause died down the teacher pointed to where we sat: “We have another hard working actor to acknowledge today, applause for — Thorin!”

I saw Thorin take it all.

This entry was posted in Down syndrome by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

13 thoughts on “Macbeth: The Journey

  1. That is such a beautiful story. So glad he loves theater. Can’t wait tio be there when he says “Yes!!” And he will. You are such perfect parents!

  2. I look forward to seeing Thorin in a grand performance but appreciate that it takes time. Some kid NEVER get comfortable being in front of people! As always you and Ward do a great job as does Mr. T.

    • He danced in front of 200 people in May.He talked with his feet then:) Whenever it happens is okay or if it never happens.

  3. I was going to say same thing as Dan G above – I’ve seen kids whose parents do community theater, totally freeze up at an audition or refuse to be in a play even that the parent is taking part in (think “King and I” little princesses and princes who for the most part don’t even have lines). Good on Thorin for having a blast rehearsing and acting, if not performing in the final play! :) And the “Scottish Play” even! :)

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