What. A. Day. Simply amazing. I’m on cloud 9. My heart is bursting at the seams.
Natalie and I set out first thing this morning, headed to A.I. for Natalie’s back-to-back OT & PT sessions. You see, she missed her OT session yesterday because her mommy allowed her to play hooky. Natalie had an opportunity to drive her Mater car around the gym at the ELC because the Go Baby Go! project was gathering for the filming of a segment set to air on WHYY. Believe me, I pondered it all flippin’ weekend. Himming and hawing…weighing the pros and cons as if it were a life or death decision. It was an opportunity for my daughter to potentially be spotted on a local broadcast TV show. In the end, I made the executive decision to allow her to participate and in the end, I was so glad I did. It turned out it wasn’t just an opportunity for her to be recorded and potentially be on TV..it was something more...something I didn’t realize. The pre-school children that attend the ELC have ‘gym class’ time slots in the morning hours. This allowed Natalie the opportunity to interact with her peers! She was able to get down, crawl around, and play, touch, interact and see her peers in action. Talk about a proud mommy moment…it brightened my entire morning and eventually spilled over into my afternoon and evening. Enough on that topic…back to where I started! We almost never do back-to-back therapy sessions for Natalie because it has proven to be too much for her. Today was an exception; we threw caution to the wind and ran with it. Sure enough, my girl rocked it. See for yourself….
Oh…wait! I almost forgot. Before therapy started, I needed some form of caffeine…off to AI's cafeteria we headed. After we checked out, I stopped to get Natalie settled with a drink and a snack of her own. During that time a mom approached us to talk to Natalie and inform us she has a 10 year old son with DS and shared with us her story. I love it. I simply adore that other families, friends and even teachers of someone with DS feel comfortable to approach Natalie and I. It warms me to the core.
After therapy we packed up and headed north, to Winterthur. Natalie had a pair of jeans from Gymboree that turned out to be ‘skinny fit’. Have you seen her shape? It’s extremely similar to mine…and we are NOT skinny jean material! Hahaha. So we dropped them off to Natalie’s friend Charlotte. Once we ended our lovely slow-paced drive around the grounds of Winterthur we headed into Greenville. We stopped at Delaware Running Company to register & pay for an upcoming race. As we were headed for the door, I was walking & Natlaie was crawling (at her usual fast pace), the guys yelled out “Hey! She’s quite fast. Do you want to get her fitted for some running shoes?!?”
At this point, I have exactly 30mins to get from Greenville, home and then to Hannah’s school. Guess what. We managed it! It may or may not have included me cutting off one of Hannah’s classmates mother. Oops!
Pick up Hannah and zoom off to my grandparent’s house; Hannah spent some quality time with my Gram & poppop while Natalie and I headed off to my alma mater. I was asked by Amy, one of my fellow Caravel graduates & mommy to Kayla (who also rocks her own set of designer genes) to join her in speaking to some students about SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD. As I headed back to the school where I gained my 4th through 12th grade education, I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that were coursing through my veins. In my head as I drive the grounds of Caravel: ‘Oh look, the little gym, I remember watching it being built. Hey, wow…there’s where I had my first make-out session’. Oh the memories that came flooding back, they made me chuckle & blush. I have to admit, it felt so weird parking in the same parking lot that I parked my junior and senior year; except this time I was unloading a stroller and a toddler from my, dare I say it, mini-van. Walking into the 400 wing office…I honestly wanted to puke. There was rarely a time I was in that office for pleasure! The ambassador of the Blue-Gold High School participants walked us down the halls of 400, through the 500 wing and into the newly added 600 wing. I was in complete shock at how the school had evolved, yet stayed the same. By the time we reached our destination, I was in complete awe and wondered how long my mouth had been agape…and how many students saw me like that!?! I hope it wasn’t any of the ones I was about to present to!! Hahaha! Amy and I barely found time to locate a corner to wedge ourselves and strollers into when the bell rang. Within a 3 min span, 40-50 students filed into the room and in an instant the vast room shrank like a damn shrink dink! Ruth, Amy and myself dove right in. Beth’s talk segwayed into Amy’s speech and Amy’s into mine. You would’ve thought we spent all weekend practicing and prepping our talks & transitions; when in actuality it was all done via email and texts. Boom!
It was such an inspiring 45 minute gathering. Amy and I spoke from the heart and of our own personal experiences with the R-word. Even if we each reached only one student today, I would consider it a success. But let's be honest here...Amy and I made a kick-ass team! We are taking this show on the road!!!
|Natalie & Kayla entertaining themselves with the dry erase board:)|