Buy Nothing Project

I recently found out about a movement called the “Buy Nothing Project.”  I didn’t realize it had spread all over the world (Australia, Canada, the UK and all over the US) but had joined my local Buy Nothing Bothell on facebook.  I can not tell you how AMAZED I have been at what an amazing group of people this is.

How it works… you post things you are no longer needing, just to help someone out, or maybe someone asks for something and you happen to have one that you are no longer needing, so you “gift” it.  But my group will randomly post a “I made someone dinner, who wants it?”  Or Free Childcare on Thursday for a certain amount of time.  Today, someone did offer up dinner, and it just so happened the woman who was gifted the dinner told her son as it was his 17th birthday.  He was so moved that he decided to gift a few hours of free labor, one mom that responded she could use it as her husband has been out of town for several months and still won’t be home for a month and she has several small kids…well another woman offered to watch her kids for an afternoon so she could get a break… all from a dinner.   It’s AMAZING and truly done wholeheartedly.

For those that don’t know my story (here is the condensed version)…after going through lots of infertility treatments and several rounds of IVF we finally found out we were pregnant.  At week 18 I was told my sons brain wasn’t developing the way it should and was told I should terminate (Dr. Doom & Gloom asked to leave, new Doc takes over).  At 28 weeks admitted to the hospital for preeclampsia and the day I hit 29 weeks my son Spencer arrived at 2lbs 5oz.  Fast forward to 10 months old, he isn’t sitting up, rolling over, etc.  Appointment with a Neuro at Seattle Children’s and an MRI discover a very rare brain malformation called Rhombencephalosynapsis.  We are informed he may never roll over, sit up, talk, etc.

At that time, I was a full time military officer and only 4 years from retirement.  I ended up resigning my commission to stay home with Spencer (and in the meantime started It’s a Preemie Thing).  So money became tight as we had purchased our home based on 2 incomes.  So we tightened the belts and drove on.

I tell you all this because fast forward 4 years, Spencer is now 4 and doing it all.  He walks, runs, talks (ok, he never stops talking and it’s AWESOME).  He has lots of balance issues (his running is actually at about an 18 month old level, but he’s running so I LOVE IT)!  And ever so often a milestone is reached that makes me even prouder than I already am, not sure how, but it happens.  So back to the Buy Nothing Project… we met friends at the park today (I’m the mom that still hovers over the cute little blonde haired kid with glasses all the time) because we’ve been to WAY to many ER’s, but he’s wanting to ride bigger bikes than a tricycle…ok, I get it.  So I get to my office and I post on Buy Nothing Bothell that I’m looking for a small bike with training wheels.  A mom posts that she has one that is 16″ and was a princess bike, but I can paint it.  Well, Spencer is pretty small, so that’s just way to big but what a fantastic gesture.

Spencers New BikeThen it comes…a beautiful 12″ blue Huffy with training wheels!!  I actually show Spencer the picture and he says “COOL!!  Whose is that?”  I tell him it’s going to be his, his eyes light up and says can we go get it NOW?”  No sweetie…bed time.   But I can’t wait until morning, at almost 9pm  I drive to the amazing woman’s house who had it for her granddaughter and there it sits, waiting for me.  Are you serious?  It’s PERFECT!!!  It looks almost brand new and then it hits me and tears start rolling down my face.  Quick…get back to my car before anyone sees me…but dang it, they won’t stop.  I cried almost the entire way home.  My son, you know the one that I was told to terminate, he wouldn’t live past 2 months…who I was told may never walk, talk, roll over…he’s getting a bike with training wheels, gifted to him by someone we’ve never met because she had it and I asked for one.

When the Oso mudslide hit, it’s not far from us, people donated like crazy in our group and are still helping out whenever asked, it truly is an amazing community!!  THAT is what the Buy Nothing Project is about.  I highly recommend you see if they have one in your area and get involved in the pay it forward lifestyle.  It feels good to not only give, but man, tonight… it was better than Christmas, and thank you Leah…Spencer will be grinning from ear to ear tomorrow morning around 6 because he doesn’t sleep that great anyways.  And we will be outside riding it…by 6:05.  Dang it, crying again…must stop writing and go stare at the bike some more.  Thank you Buy Nothing Project (and for me, Buy Nothing Bothell)!!

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