When I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant with Everett, Vic & I went out to dinner one night at one of our favorite local restaurants, an Italian joint. I distinctly remember that night. I remember what I wore, I remember what I ordered, and I remember where I sat. I remember these (what would seem like mundane) events, because that evening a young man with Down syndrome chose our table for us, seated us, handed us our menus, and began telling us what his favorite menu items were (including HIS banana pudding recipe in the dessert section). This young man was very professional, well-spoken, and it was obvious he was the most popular guy at the restaurant. Everyone, literally everyone, knew his name. Vic & I talked on the way home about what a neat experience it was, seeing this young man in action. Days later, Everett was born and diagnosed. A lot of people began telling me everything Everett wouldn’t be able to do. He’ll never go to college they said, work, or learn how to snow ski, etc. And every time someone would say things like this, I would think to myself, “but what about that guy at the Italian restaurant?” It’s so funny to me now that I used to think of Austin Underwood as “that guy at the Italian restaurant.” He is a good family friend of ours now, as well as his amazing mom Jan. If you’ve never met Austin (which would surprise me, pretty sure everyone in our area knows him), then you should. He’ll tell you all about his new business venture, his old college days, and how he loves to go snow skiing every year 🙂.
On a side note, if you’d like to learn more about Austin’s business venture (Austin’s Underdawgs) and donate to the cause, here is the link! It’s a great way to support a business that is giving back to the differently-abled community!!! https://www.pieshell.com/projects/austins-underdawgs