My Most Valuable Possessions Taped on a Wall

CALL ME CRAZY but I tried to save as much of my boys’ artwork as I could as they were growing up.

I not only keep them safely in containers, I also use them as decorations throughout the year.  It takes some time and care, but, for me, it is definitely worth the effort.  Each year, I am reminded that my boys are growing older, that that they rarely make these personal creations anymore and that they have progressed in so many ways.  Although my children don’t say anything, I know that they like to look at their own handiwork.  They may even reminisce or miss the days when they could just sit and color or paste things!

Me, I am always filled with a mix of emotions.  Glancing at the windows and walls throughout the day, I am so happy and thankful that I have these visual memories of my childrens’ younger years. I am touched and proud of each and everything thing that my boys do, no matter how trivial.  I am saddened by the realization that, at this time in their lives, I probably treasure these moments more than anyone. 

 Most importantly, I am optimistic and hopeful.  I notice and realize the success of my son with special needs.  Blake was diagnosed with autism a few months before turning 3 years old.  I only wish that I knew then all that I know now about autism and special needs because I would have done so much differently.  Maybe he would be at a different place on the proverbial “spectrum”.  Who knows?  I sure don’t.  So, instead of focusing on the should of, could of, what if, I focus on the positives, the progressions and the successes that are evident.

I can clearly remember the days when he could not write, color or cut a thing.  The teachers would send home things on his behalf, I guess to make me feel as if he were a typical child?  Although there was definitely no input from my son, I kept those items.  Then, little by little, he began to contribute and I felt that warm tingly sensation in my heart.  Pictures with one or two lines of scribbles were incredible works of art in my eyes!  Because HE did it.   BLAKE put that crayon to paper.  Gradually, he learned to color, to cut, and, thankfully to write.  Looking at the totality of all of my sons’ creations, no one would ever know which ones were Blake’s.  They all blend beautifully together.  They all show improvement throughout the years in my childrens’ fine motor skills and understanding of the holidays.

Blake is just one of so many children with special needs in this world.  In our family, he is a blessing – an example of what was and what can be.  A reminder to all of us to appreciate the smallest of accomplishments, to continually set greater goals and always strive to achieve them.  In the end, it is most definitely worth it!