Most moms look forward to finding out what creative gifts their kids will bring home for Mothers’ Day. It seems that a majority of teachers, at the elementary level, make sure to have a class project designed for the big day. As a parent of a child with a visual impairment, art projects make me a little nervous. I want my child to participate in activities that are meaningful to him, and art can be a tricky subject if you have a teacher that is not perceptive to a child’s particular needs.
Recently, I was talking to another parent of a visually impaired child, and we were laughing about the projects that travel home in our kids’ backpacks. Occasionally, you will see a perfectly colored drawing, or something made out of construction paper that is precisely cut and accurately placed. I realize that some projects can be done with assistance and still be enjoyable for our kids. However, if it is too perfect, and way beyond my son’s current art level, I really don’t feel like gluing it in his baby book.
I would much rather see a plain white paper with a bunch of scribbles than anything produced by a teacher. I want art work to come home that Eddie completed. It does not have to be perfect, as long as it is done by him. So last week, with Mothers’ Day looming, I knew classrooms were making cards, and I wondered what Eddie would do, or if he would participate at all.
On Mothers’ Day, I received a beautifully painted coaster that my daughter made in her class. That was a good example of a project Eddie would not have liked, but she absolutely loved. From Eddie, I received two very tactile projects. One was a jar covered in tissue paper that had been glued on, which was made into a flower vase. The other was a piece of clay he had molded, added glass rocks into, and then silk flowers were stuck into the clay. It appears to be a decorative center piece that was most definitely made by Eddie.
What a great gift, to have items obviously made by my son. It turns out the classroom project was very visual, so Eddie’s aide came up with something else that Eddie could do, and that he would enjoy. That is the kind of thinking that I truly appreciate. Now I have two uniquely homemade gifts that were created by my son. Because they were made by him, I can be reminded of what he can do, instead of what he can’t.