Miss Brooke is Brooklyn’s aide this year in third grade and yesterday she got married. It was such a special day! There were lots of beautiful pictures taken (I can’t wait to see all the love that her photographer captured) but this one above that I took prior to the ceremony is by far one of my favorites. Brooklyn might not speak using her voice but anyone looking at this photo can see the love she has for Brooke. I want to thank Brooke and Jake for not only inviting Brooklyn to the wedding but asking her to participate in the ceremony! She helped bring the runner down for Brooke and her daddy to walk down. (yes, I was a blubbering, speechless mess when Jake called to ask me – he wanted to surprise Brooke!)
Brooke and Brooklyn have only been partnered up since the first day of school and already they have a bond that I never though possible, it is amazing. Many of you who follow this blog know that I am a HUGE advocate for inclusion for Brooklyn. Rett Syndrome of course makes it impossible for Brooklyn to simply walk into class an participate with her peers. Brooke however makes that possible. At school, she is Brooklyn’s feet, hands, and voice. She is her communication partner and friend. She believes in Brooklyn – in her intelligence, her ability to make friends and be a good friend and that my friends is what makes inclusion work! (thank you Brooke!)
Now, more about that amazing wedding….
Kids Table: The sight alone of a kids table use to make me cry…..it was not a place my daughter belonged, until now. Last night her friends ran right over to where we were sitting, asked if Brookie could come to the kids table with them…..ummmm YES PLEASE. Ok – so I admit, I lied – the kids table still made me cry – but this time HUGE happy tears as I watch my daughter laugh and interact with her friends!
Dollar Dash: If we are friends on facebook, you have see my post about Bailey, who is Brooke’s daughter, and is also in the third grade. Bailey set a goal of raising $500 for Girl Power 2 Cure in honor of Brooklyn. (Is that awesome or what?!?!) She made a donation bucket and flyer to set out at Ridenour Acres. She was already well on her way to meeting that goal but Jake and Brooke chose to help her out even more! They did the “dollar dash” and Bailey and all of Brookie’s friends ran all over that reception hall collecting money in honor of Brooklyn. It was amazing to watch. Thank you to EVERYONE who donated!! And to Jake, Brooke, and Bailey for educating all of their friends and family about Rett Syndrome!
Photo Booth: They had a “photo booth” set up at the reception. A corner of the room with a digital camera and lots of fun “dress up” clothes for people to take pictures. I knew Brooklyn would love this and had planned to be sure to take her over there for a picture……of course HER FRIENDS got to her first….I know – it is a blurry picture (sorry!) I was taking it from my seat. No eight year old wants their mom hanging around when they are hangin’ with their friends :)
Turns out photo booths make me cry (big happy tears) too….
I also wanted to include this beautiful photo of Brooke and her dad Terry. I think it is pretty obvious that Brooke is an amazing gal – the truth is, her entire family is pretty amazing. Terry is one of the two fabulous gentlemen who made the platform for Brookie’s wheelchair. I think it is safe to say the feelings of admiration go both ways with Brooklyn and Terry!
Friends: Last night was the first wedding reception that Brooklyn and I attended that we did not spend every minute together, and I loved it. I loved every single minute that we were separated. I know that is a very weird statement to read but her not being with me, meant she was with her friends. She was laughing, dancing, dressing up, acting silly, and ignoring her mom – just like EVERY OTHER 8 YEAR OLD THERE.
Yesterday was AMAZING in so many different ways, I am sure I did not do the day justice with this post….but I hope these words gave you a glimpse into the beautiful day. Into the beautiful relationship between Brooklyn and Brooke and of course the beauty that happens when kids can look past Rett Syndrome and simply see Brooklyn.