Being the Mom of a kid with special needs can be challenging at times. With Lea I always have to take extra things into consideration. The walk is too far, the noise is too loud, the touch is too soft, the dark is too....dark. But days like today remind me of the blessings Lea brings to our family. Heck, to our WORLD!
Lea is a very giving person. There are so many examples that I had to narrow it down to just a few to tell you about.
A couple of years ago, Lea attended an art day camp for a week at a local church. Each day she created some really cool things. I think. I only saw one project! I would pick her up and ask her what she made that day. She would describe it, I would see the other kids' work. "Where is yours?" I would ask. "I gave it to (insert name here)." It was always someone different. She gave her artwork to other kids in the class, teachers, volunteers. The one and only thing I saw from this camp was a really cool birdhouse she painted and decorated with jewels and glitter. It was huge and not just decorative. An actual bird could live in there! It was still wet, but I had plans to spray it with urethane to protect it and put it outdoors. We brought it home and I put it on the table as a centerpiece. Later that day, we had a visit from a very special woman. She was Lea's first teacher when she was in the Early Intervention program. Hamida visited our home once or twice a week for years giving Lea therapy from ages 3 months to 3 years! We hadn't seen her in years and it was great to catch up. As soon as she walked in the door, Lea told her, "I made you something!" She was all smiles as she ran to the table, grabbed the still-wet birdhouse and gave it to Hamida. Hamida was overjoyed! I would have never told her, "No, that is a mistake. That is MY birdhouse!" I never even got a picture because then the secret would be out that I had planned on keeping this treasure.
Lea now attends a farm day camp weekly. She makes a craft almost every time. I have almost none of these crafts. Today is a good example. One of the volunteers at camp handed me a strange but intriguing item. An empty water bottle with straw glued all over it, a string attached, and holes cut in the sides. Inside was black sheep's wool. They sheared the sheep last week and they filled the bottles with the wool. You hang this outside and watch as the birds come by and take bits of wool from it to use in their nests. Just about the coolest thing I have seen lately! Lea said "No, Mommy, that one is not mine." "How can you tell?" "Because I gave mine to Suzie." Suzie (name changed to protect the innocent, LOL) is another camper who recently had a really bad day. She yelled at Lea, got in her face, and snatched the glasses off Lea's face, breaking them. Lea was quite upset about this (rightfully so!). I explained what the camp director told me...Suzie had been feeling ill and off due to a change in her medication. Obviously Lea has forgiven Suzie as she was the recipient of the bird's nest maker! Still, I wanted this thing. Suzie made her own, after all. What about me?
Lea also gives us all candy. She has a weekly therapy appointment at which she receives little candies. She purposely chooses candy that she can't eat (food allergies) so she can give it to me. Or Grandma and Granddad. And sometimes even her sister Lainie!
Lea is truly a giving spirit. And I DO get to keep a few things she gives! My favorites are her smiles and her hugs. Given most freely of all!