My morning started before the sun knew it was time to get up. My caregiver was here and I gave her the run down for the morning and off I went for my first of several meetings before noon.
My first meeting was invigorating and after catching up with a friend I came back home to gather Larkin and take her with me to the next meeting. There were many “firsts” in this process as I have never taken Larkin with me when I meet with a group, the twins wanted to tag along, and I have never spoken to an entire school that had decided to raise funds for Larkin’s Place.
The Lincoln Trails Middle School in Mahomet chose two charities to collect money for and we were one of them. They asked if I would attend the assembly and tell them about Larkin & the YMCA and accept a check. I had planned on taking just Larkin but the twins wanted mommy so my caregiver and I decided everyone would go.
I noticed as I put Larkin in her car seat that she had some smeared dried blood on her right hand and a bit of bright blood on her left so I did a quick assessment and found no injuries. I asked Alora (our caregiver) if she had noticed any blood on the crib sheets or any bleeding and she hadn’t so I put in the back of my mind and moved on to the meeting.
The students at this middle school had worked so hard and raised over $1,000 and split that amount so Larkin’s Place was presented with $552.00 BUT the cool thing is we currently have an annoymous donor that is matching dollar for dollar all donations we take in until Feb 29 up to 2 million dollars. Technically the kids donated $1,104.00!! How awesome is THAT??!!
I was allowed to tell the entire school thank you and share with them some of our story and the vision of the YMCA & Larkin’s Place ~ so my morning was pretty spectacular thus far and off we went to my next meeting.
I met with 2 Unit 4 employees from the speech & language departments along with an outside consultant I hired to help create a foundational platform for Larkin’s Individualized Education Plan or IEP as it’s more commonly known.
Larkin was with me in her wheelchair and I sat down with the team to begin the breakdown of her needs. There was a lot of conversation flowing and I went to hand Larkin a drink and I noticed something different about her mouth and I quickly opened her lips to see a gap instead of a tooth on her bottom row of teeth.
The smeared blood. The bright spot of blood. Her chewing on her hands over the past few days.
I was immediately filled with a huge range of emotions and couldn’t focus on the meeting for a while but gradually pulled myself together and plugged back into the work.
The speech consultant who is also someone I consider a friend was left with me at the end of the meeting and I couldn’t hold back my tears any longer. I know this is the first of so many milestones we will have that are typical for all kids but atypical with how they present in our lives with Larkin.
I didn’t get to hear her excitement telling me her tooth was loose, how it felt as she wiggled it with her tongue, or talk about how we might have to pull it …. all those plans you make with your child.
I didn’t even have the tooth.
The tears flowed and I kept saying how weird it felt to be sad & thrilled all at the same time and my friend hugged me and spoke gentle words reminding me how meeting a typical milestone can bring out both emotions and to just feel it.
I cried when I told my friend Kim. I cried when I told Andy. I cry as I type this.
My morning was spectacular and those kids I spoke to at the school were amazing and that is what I keep going back to and reminding myself of all the goodness we are surrounded by in this community.
That puts the float back in my step and the smile back into place.
I spent some time looking on the floor of my truck and in Larkin’s car seat. It’s amazing how pretzel bits can look like a tooth and I would get so excited thinking I HAVE IT ~ but I didn’t find it. You might see me on my hands and knees going over every crumb & speckle in the corner of this house you now know why. I really would like to hold that little tooth, a typical milestone, and put it in the tooth fairy box my girlfriend Suz bought me and see if daddy the tooth fairy will bring us a dollar or two to donate for the YMCA.
I may miss the goal of finding the tooth but I plan to leave daddy the tooth fairy a note explaining the situation and asking for a donation anyway. My ache will smooth over in time and watching that amazing building go up & our community cheer us on makes it a whole lot easier.
I gotta admit Larkin looks a lot more grown up with that gap ~ Lauren Hutton better watch out
In order to make me laugh I thought I would take a photo of her new smile … it was a wrestling match of course so I hope it makes you laugh too cause Larkin was having NONE of it