Our journey started with Peter's Birth in October 2000. His Mom, Dede, kept a daily journal to update family and friends. This became known as "Pete's Diary" during the 102 days he was in the NICU.
The book Wonder by R. J. Palacio was published in 2012. It's about a boy with a craniofacial syndrome and his struggles starting a new school. Peter read the book and felt that the fictional character, Auggie, was a hero he could look up to.
In April 2013, Peter brought Auggie to life on stage for the first time during a reading of excerpts for Santa Monica's "One Book, One Community" selection. Dede and Peter were also invited to speak at a school with students who had recently read the book.
Thus began invitations to other schools as Wonder became part of many 5th-6th grade curriculums. Dede and Peter worked with Children's Craniofacial Association to champion the #ChooseKind movement inspired by Wonder. From 2012-2018, they spoke with over 50,000 students about the importance of inclusion and kindness.
Peter picked up a guitar for the first time in May 2015. Dede integrated his playing into their school presentations as Peter became more passionate and skilled at playing. This began their
Wonder's popularity peaked in 2017 with the release of the movie starring Jacob Tremblay, Julie Roberts, and Owen Wilson. Our family was invited to visit the set during filming, and we attended the world premiere in Hollywood.