This building a house project has really been about building community as I’ve said and will continue to say over and over. We’re meant to do life together. Friends and strangers are generously stepping forward to work on an accessible home addition for Aidan.
But there’s also this….
A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away (it was Connecticut 40 years ago) two new moms longing for community and friendship and belonging met in a grocery store. Thus began the story of two families, not related by blood but families none the less, doing life together. There are so so many stories to fill these 40 years; camping and hiking, trips to Block Island which my grandparents discovered before Columbus so stop rolling your eyes Jen!, lots of naked kid butts being hosed down after a day at the beach, variety shows complete with costumes and scripts and original songs and you name it, Sundays with Gram and Poppa, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall all the way from New Hampshire to Connecticut with kids pig piled without seat belts in the back on the van. Of course over 40 years there have been hard times as well. All of this has mixed together to make us family.
And this weekend my not by blood but still family family came to leave a most precious gift for Aidan – a mural.
Not just any mural; a mural that moves because, of course, there are wheels. Wheels are what have changed Aidan’s life, giving him freedom and independence, so there must be wheels on his wall… wheels that move.
And there must be a drum because when Aidan slowly, so very slowly, learned to open his hands much later than during the first year of life when that’s expected, he could not stop drumming whatever was in reach. This drum is not just any drum because it’s topped with beautiful touchable sea-colored pieces.
The colors are bold to draw Aidan’s attention but the message is bold to draw all of our attention:
The confidence in this message comes from Aidan’s very first physical therapist who didn’t bat an eyelash when Aidan was maybe two years old and I said, ‘I want Aidan to walk into Kindergarten in whatever form or fashion he can but on his feet.” There was nothing in me that knew it was possible, but gosh darn it I was going to dream big and make a goal of it. We haven’t stopped since.
And because it never leaves us and we are driven to help everyone understand it and battle against it, Epilepsy is here in this mural as well.
Of course there are kids here too because kids are meant to do life together as well. Kids helping kids; how many ways can I love that?
There is something for myself also. I’ve been writing on walls that have been smashed down, but I’ve also been writing on the framing of the house – staying words, forever words. I listed out the names of my not by blood but still family family and had a little help tucking them away for me behind the trim.
This being together, this building community, this doing life together, this giving of ourselves – this is what makes us family.