October 4th 2005 Larkin Murphy Armstrong was born and the person I was, died. Becoming a parent is, in most situations, a beautiful process. Chase Larkin was born August 29, 1995 and no longer would I be sleeping in, running out the door for a quick lunch, dinner or otherwise. Self-involvement goes away and this little being encompasses all thoughts, deeds, and actions. Loving Chase began the moment they told me I was pregnant. The intense, all consuming, heart shattering love began the moment they laid him on me seconds after his birth and I looked deep into the eyes of love and my soul and his melded. I always believed in God but now I KNEW Him. I began to know His plan. BEGAN – being the operative word.
Larkin’s birth was the same but different. Looking back the signs are all there. The pictures show the proof of her differences. The pictures also show proof of the sameness. Is that a word? All consuming-heart shattering-intense love. I looked deep into her eyes after her birth wanting that same connection that I had with Chase. She was ANGRY when she was born. She came out hand first. I have found over and over in my readings the old saying that children born hands first are leaders. After receiving the diagnosis of Trisomey 21, I questioned that old saying. After receiving further devastating news of Infantile Spasms, I threw that saying out the window. Then when the final crushing blow of Lennox-Gaustaut was delivered, I went outside, took gasoline with me, and burned the damn thing.
I also burned my “What to expect when you’re expecting,” “The Toddler year’s what to expect” and the poem “Welcome to
I have always tried to take care of Chase’s world. Making sure he eats his veggies, brushes his teeth every 4th day and occasionally uses the soap and shampoo in the shower. Keeping him busy with his own activities, so he does not feel as if he lives in Larkin’s shadow. Chase has his own challenges of course. He is a deeply sensitive child and my girlfriend Laura points out regularly all children have special needs. My child of 10 whose response to being told that his sister had Down syndrome was “why couldn’t it have been me instead of her?”