It was a very long day — seven hours in total, by the time we left — but it was well worth it. Namine loved seeing all her friends again.

We arrived a little on the early side, just in case there were scheduling issues. On the contrary, though: they had an early opening in makeup, so Namine was able to get hers done even sooner than expected. She’d have preferred to get her hair done first, but she didn’t mind switching things up either.

After makeup was done, they had an opening for getting her hair done pretty quickly. Namine had brought her hair band, but since her hair is still on the short side she didn’t have much of a preference. Just one request: “Make it extra curly,” she said.

Once her hair was done, it was on to the glamour shots. All the anxiety she’d had last year was gone, since she already knew what to expect. And she loved every minute of it.

Once Namine’s glamour shots were done, we just had to wait for the show to start. Well, there was one more thing: group pictures. It took a little while to get everyone together, but we did it.

The photographer had set up a ladder so she could get high enough to get everyone in the shot. Once she was up on the ladder, she noticed that she couldn’t get everyone in the shot from where she was. She said to the group, “Could everyone move to your right?”

I could see Namine from where I was, and her face froze in an expression of absolute incredulity. I could practically hear her thoughts: Didn’t this lady know what it took to get all these wheelchairs perfectly lined up?

The adults in wheelchairs in the group, joined by the parents of kids in wheelchairs, had the same thought. In almost perfect unison, they said loudly, “No, you move!”

After the photographer had repositioned her ladder, she took several shots of the group.

There were two halves to the fashion show, separated by an intermission. Namine didn’t go on until the second half, so we sat with Jessica to watch the first half of the show.

After the intermission, Namine and I went back for her to get in line. When it was almost her turn, I left her — she knew what she was doing, and was content to shoo me away — to watch from the audience.

Even though it had been a long day by the show’s end — over seven hours, by my estimation — we were in no hurry to leave. The crowds were thick with people we wanted to say hi and bye to, and Namine gave every one of them a hug. Namine was thrilled that she even got to say goodbye to Jenny (the organizer of the fashion show!) and Bryon (of the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation) before we left.

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