While I believe a child needs to breathe- to run, to play, to eat dirt, to roll in the grass- having my own (read: laundry) turned out to be different than all of my pre-child visions of well-behaved, nature loving angels reading quietly in my clean house.
I mean. Having a kid stressed me out and, more days than not, I saw puddles outside and quickly scooped her up and said, “Ooh! Look at the pretty clouds!”
Until one day, a little boy entered my life and changed me forever.
His name was Ty Louis Campbell. And if you haven’t heard his story yet, now is the time. I met him in August of 2012. He had had a pretty rough go of it, but was maybe feeling better and was getting ready to celebrate his fifth birthday…
when the doctors told his parents there was nothing else they could do.
I still cry thinking about him.
Not just him. But the whole stinking cancer reality.
He had been speaking, but due to the high levels of radiation and chemotherapy he had to undergo, he struggled to put words together and communicate with his family. My Pickle has just started talking. We adore her sweet little voice more than anything.
When the treatments paralyzed him and he could no longer walk, he scooted around the house on his bottom. My little girl cries, “Daddy! Get me!” and then runs around the house squealing with delight.
When he couldn’t even move his body to play with his toys anymore, he would look through toy catalogs. He loved Max and Ruby. And blue lollipops. And superheroes.
Well, Ty Louis Campbell has become a superhero to me and my family.
Because of him, my girl sits on the counter with me and makes cookies and bread and pizza and anything else she can help with that won’t harm her. Because of him, I let her try the big kid toys at the playground and I let her run as far as she can when we are in an open park.
Because of him, we jump in puddles. No matter how dirty. Or cold. Or rainy. Or wet. Because we CAN. Clothes wash. Kids wash. And in honor of all the children out there who can’t… we will splash.