Like most parents, once I had my kids I started thinking of the future. My older child did all of the things I had anticipated. She started dating around the time I figured, she got her license and we got her a car, she went to college, she moved out. Cool, this is easy.
My younger child, my son Logan, took a different path to adolescence and threw us off track as far as expectations went. He is 17. He has never dated, he doesn’t have a license or a car, and there will be no college or moving out.
This poses a problem with certain milestones, like the next big one- turning 18. We will have a party, but it won’t be the typical bash with buddies, and we won’t be buying him a car. So what now?
What do you do for a kid who can’t do a lot of the things the other kids his age are doing? What do you do for a kid who doesn’t care about money or grasp the meaning of an expensive present? What do you do when you have 16,000 people following his story on your blog page, all wanting to send him gifts?
I spoke with Logan about his birthday, and explained that lots of people would love to send him something for his big day, but since we have everything we need, how did he feel about giving the gifts to somebody else? What if we asked people to make a donation instead of sending a present? What if we agreed to accept cards only, but we bought a big giant map and mark all of the spots we get cards from?
He was on board 100%, and Operation Logan’s Birthday Fund was born. We knew we wanted people to donate, but to where? We had done fundraisers in the past for pediatric cancer, autism, the Boston bombing victims and therapeutic horseback riding..what else do we care about? Enough to give away all of Logan’s birthday loot?
The thought of our police force kept coming to mind. Having a child with special needs can be scary and uncertain, and it’s hard to let go and let them gain some independence. Living in a town that I grew up in and having the police force know our family helps tremendously with helping us feel comfortable. Combine our respect for them, Logan’s love for animals and our towns budget cuts made for a perfect solution. We would raise the money for our local K9 police dog .
I cannot believe how selfless Logan is to be willing to do this, and I cannot believe how generous our friends and family are. The fund is doing well, but to be honest, the money isn’t what this is about for me. This project has been about leaving a mark..leaving our mark..doing something good. To be able to spread this around, help it reach as far as we can and make a donation in honor of Logan’s birthday will be amazing. I can’t wait to see how far we can bring it.