Back story #1
When Dude was around 9 or 10 years old, he went through a phase when he discovered that he could project his voice. To investigate this new skill, he took to yelling in large rooms or open spaces and (I’m assuming) listening to how the projection sounded. He wouldn’t shriek. He would start in a normal speaking voice with the sound “ah” and then instantly use his diaphragm to quickly push out the rest of his air, thus increasing his projection (<– all my years of being a band geek paid off). So it sounded something like ahAHHHH!
Short and sweet, but enough to scare the bejeesus out of unsuspecting passersby.
Back story #2
I mentioned how Dude liked to do this in large rooms. Unfortunately for us, our church qualified as one of those rooms.
Back story #3
This was a point in time when I was embarrassed by pretty much everything Dude did. However, when this particular story occurred, I had come to terms with the yelling behavior and just shrugged it off.. even when we got strange looks from others.
Back story #4
There was a boy in my grade who also has a sister with special needs. We weren’t best buds, but it was nice to know that there was a peer who could take kids with special needs in stride.
My elementary school would have an annual end of year ceremony. Many parents come to this event because it doubles as an academic awards ceremony. Mom and Dude were there the year I was finishing up 7th grade.
At some point during the ceremony, Dude let out one of his yells. Literally EVERYONE in my grade jumped and turned around to see who was making that racket.
The only two people who didn’t startle and look around? Me and my classmate who has the sister with special needs.
He was sitting a seat or so away from me. Keeping his eyes fixed on what was happening at the front of the church, he said matter-of-factly, “I’m guessing Dude’s here?”