I learned I was going to have a baby five years ago on the day before Thanksgiving. We were so excited and we talked about all our hopes and dreams on the 2 1/2 hour drive to my Mother In Law’s house. That year we were so thankful, we couldn’t stop smiling.
There were so many things we couldn’t wait to do with our baby. We spent the next nine months talking about all the exciting things we would do when our family of two became a family of three. Of course we had no idea that we would be having a baby with special needs. That there would be lots of things he would have to work extra hard to be able to do. One of the things I looked forward to was doing crafts and projects with our little guy. I really enjoy making things with my hands and I couldn’t wait to do all those things with Owen.
It is common for kids with Owen’s diagnosis to have low muscle tone, which makes it harder to do things that other kids can do easily. I bet most of you can hold a pencil or crayon pretty easily and you never think of it being hard work, but for Owen it is hard.
Last year I got a few small canvases for Owen. I was super excited but he got bored very quickly and at one point started to cry because I was making him paint. I felt so very sad because I hoped he would like being artistic as much as I do.
I sent one of the paintings to my Mom for Mother’s Day. Of course she posted a photo of it online. Once my Mother-In-Law and sister saw the painting they both decided they wanted an “Owen Original” too. Because it was so difficult for him I kept putting it off. Then one day I was out shopping and I found canvases with a cut out for the artists photo, and they were on sale! So I bought the canvases and decided these would make perfect gifts.
I was so nervous about getting Owen to paint because he disliked it so much last time. I got everything all set up and I asked him in a very excited voice if he wanted to paint. He went running over to the canvas and got busy right away. And… he had a great time!
It was so much fun watching Owen experiment with his painting. He would just touch the brush to the canvas and make a dot, then another and another, each time he would lean back and see what happened. Then he would take the brush and swipe it across the canvas and look to see what that did. At one point he was scrubbing the brush back and forth across the canvas, and laughing. Finally he picked up each of his four brushes, looked carefully at the the painting and would put it back in the cup deciding the painting didn’t need anymore of that color. After making sure he didn’t need to add anymore color he stood back, signed done, and clapped his hands with pride. He knew his painting was beautiful!
The best part is that he has been painting and coloring more ever since. I am so excited to see Owen making art. It makes me one happy mommy and I can’t wait to find just the right place for my very own masterpiece.