Hudson arrived home with his first real piece of “artwork” in his school backpack last week. See the paint strokes, random colors? Paint, paper, creativity. That constitutes a real painting to me. And it brought great joy, soared my heart to see his beautiful work. Those who can’t talk, or talk much, even more so than the rest of us, need creative outlets to express themselves. Art’s such a beautiful medium of self-expression. And Hudson came home, his little hands, fingers splotched with green, yellow, pink and purple paint. (LOTS of self-expression!) And that made me very happy too.
Lizzy planting a big one
You know, I’ve never known a time when I wasn’t closely connected to someone with special needs. Some of you don’t know this yet, but my sister Elisabeth has Down syndrome. I know. It’s striking isn’t it, that she and Hudson would both have the same diagnosis.
And you know what’s even more interesting? Lizzy’s diagnosis of Down syndrome is random, not genetic. And Hudson’s is too. Meaning that neither my family nor I are gene carriers for Down syndrome. So what are the odds that both my sister and son would have random Down syndrome? It’s so confusing. Technically, their Downs is random. But I don’t think it’s random at all. Or coincidence either, if you know what I mean. Hudson and Lizzy are gifts, specifically chosen to bless, grow our family. I know other families with children who have Down syndrome, and they echo these same sentiments.
Dad and Lizzy
When I was born, Lizzy was already six. She’s always had a special place in our hearts, a kind of protected status. And even as the youngest family member and her little sister, I felt protective of her. Growing up, I remember other kids staring at Lizzy on the playground, at the park or in a restaurant. It upset me, made me uncharacteristically bold enough to say to bigger kids I didn’t even know, “Stop staring.” Because Lizzy knew they were staring too. She felt it, knew it was rude. And she’d say to us, her brothers and sisters…”They’re s-s-s-staring at me.” She didn’t like it, not a bit. (Who would?) I feel that same way with Hudson, protective. Mama bearish. And thankfully, forty years later, it’s a more loving and special needs welcoming world that Hudson was born into.
So Hudson’s first painting last week reminded me of something amazing that happened just before Hudson was born. Lizzy was taking an art class with other special needs adults from her group home. There was an art show, they were selling their work. And my sister Susan went to the show, bought one of Lizzy’s paintings.
And then Hudson was born, subsequently diagnosed with Down syndrome. And Susan gifted Lizzy’s painting to Hudson. Lizzy says it’s tulips. Look closely, see the artist signature. We framed it, hung it in Hudson’s room behind his beloved rocking chair. There’s something magical in that Lizzy painted the sweet picture that now hangs in Hudson’s room.
Both their painted pictures mean the world to me. As do precious Hudson and his Auntie Lizzy, shown here celebrating her birthday.
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Beautiful. Just beautiful!
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
I truly believe that art let’s a person express his or her soul. Hudson and Lizzy are both wonderful at watercolor. I love to create when I’m feeling something inside of me that I can’t explain in words. 🙂
“In His image”…
God’s creativity runs through their little fingers as well. Beautiful!
Ruth Anne Fuller says
Loved both of the pictures…wonderful creativity…great use of color. Enjoy!!!!
Love the paintings and the story behind them! X0
Nancy Hammett says
Thanks for sharing this post and the pictures . Beautiful story.
I can just imagine how you felt when Hudson brought that beautiful painting home. It is beautiful too! I loved seeing Lizzy’s painting. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story about your two very special “gifts”.
Angela Dalton says
Thank you for sharing today, Allie. How beautiful!
Beautiful story!!!! I love reading your blogs.
The art is beautiful…the story is beautiful…I’m reposting. =)
nancy mcmahan says
Was feeling a little d I w today. Thus story just lifted me right up. Thank you.
Linda Jenkins says
Beautiful story about God’s amazing and beautiful works. He, Hudson, has completed the circle. I love that your sister’s picture is hung in Hudson’s room. Makes me think of a special angel watching over your sweet little boy.
Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says
Both paintings are beautiful. What a great, touching story. God’s plans are often beyond our understanding but always best.
When I was pregnant with my first and it was time to decide if we wanted to test for DS we told our doctor ‘no’ because the outcome didn’t matter to us. Our baby was ours and we were keeping it no matter what.
He looked me in the eyes and said that the best way to experience unconditional love is to have a child with DS.
You seem like a great mom and sister. God knows what He is doing when He puts families together.
Jennifer K says
Love this story! Beautiful paintings and artists!
Barbara Child says
You have such a beautiful attitude–comes from God, who is paramount in your life. Thanks for sharing such poignant moments!
[email protected] says
So nice to “see” Lizzy. I haven’t seen her for ages. Thank you!
What precious treasures–the artwork AND the artists who gave expressively!
This story moved me to tears today. Growing up, I have wonderful memories of spending time with your family….Thanksgivings, reunions, occasional trips to each other’s homes….and Lizzy was someone very special to me…I looked forward to seeing her. I still remember her sitting on Aunt Pinkie’s piano bench with me while I played the piano. At Biola, I became a coach for a Special Olympics team which was part of my life for 12 years. One of the boys I met there who has autism is one of our friends we love to spend time with to this day, and in fact it is his birthday today. One of my best friends during the 90’s would have a son born with down’s who would become dear to our family as well. I look forward to meeting Hudson one day and enjoyed your beautiful blog post!