Gavin was our first child - and our 5 1/2 years with him were filled with hundreds of big celebrations for tiny (but in reality, HUGE) accomplishments. I can still recall the moment he started making babbling sounds. The moment he reached out to touch a toy. The moment he pulled himself up to kneel at his play table. I could go on and on. It was our life - and it became normal to us! When he did "typical toddler" things - like climbing into his toy bin to try to get up to the TV (sound familiar, Hope?!?!?) - we rejoiced.
It was all so... typical!
I say all of this to give you a frame of reference for what I'm about to attempt to explain.
Hope had her well visit at the pediatrician today. (She's 32 1/2" tall, 24.7lbs) The visit was perfect. She's perfect. And I drove all the way home in tears.
It is such a strange trip to watch your child do things so naturally. Watching Brian lead Hope through the doctor's office - listening to him give her a pep talk for what was to come - it blew my mind.
I'm not the kind of person to expect the other shoe to drop. That's just not my style. When I was pregnant with Brian, people asked if I was nervous to have another. They were obviously wondering if I was afraid I'd have another child with a whole host of issues like Gavin. I wasn't. I just knew it would all be fine. I knew Hope would be fine, too. And as they both grew, I wasn't watching and looking and paranoid... I was quite the opposite.
Every little thing they did naturally seemed miraculous to me. I didn't take a THING for granted. Because of Gavin, we had hundreds of big celebrations for every tiny accomplishment Brian and Hope have ever made. And we always will.
Gavin continues to leave us so many gifts - not just the gift of appreciating every moment. Because of his inspiring journey, people from all over the WORLD donated their hard earned money to "Gavin's Playground Project" to help build an all abilities playground at "his" hospital, Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Children.
I received a note from the leadership at duPont today - asking if Ed and I could come in for a meeting in the beginning of August. They finally have some short and long term plans for how they will shape and build the new playground. They wanted us to be part of it and get our input.
Listen, I know what I know - and I knew what was right for MY child. What would have helped MY child on the playground may not be what YOUR child needs!!! So, I am calling ALL of the duPont families who will be enjoying that playground for years. Gavin isn't here anymore so I want to be the BEST voice that I can be for YOUR child. Think about what your child needs in that outdoor space... what would be necessary to ensure they can enjoy themselves... and send me all of your ideas. I would prefer that all the suggestions, hopes and dreams are in one place...and I think the easiest place to comment is on the Chasing Rainbows Facebook page under the entry that has this blog link. I will bring all of your thoughts with me and make sure you are heard.
Thank you for helping me help YOUR children in memory of MINE.
I love you, Gavin.
p.s. - I will be off this blog for several days as we move into our new home! You can follow me on Instagram @kategavinsmom or on the Chasing Rainbows Facebook Page.