Today something beautiful unfolded in front of my eyes. I came home sweaty from the gym and my hands full of grocery bags ready to jump in the shower. Jacob's new art therapist had just settled into our kitchen with all her paint, paint brushes, and different canvases. Jacob was looking his very best after a long night of rest (with his new night nurse who is a keeper) and the art therapist's apron over his new fleece shirt.
Over the years, Jacob has tried all kinds of alternative therapies alongside with traditional therapies. Jacob has been doing therapy riding horses (hippo therapy), sacral cranial therapy, water therapy and music therapy in addition to physical, occupational and speech therapy. We have wanted to try art therapy for a while, but the opportunity never unfolded until today. Jacob is participating in Children's Hospital's hospice program Butterfly. One of the services they recently offer their kids is art therapy. We jumped on the opportunity to try it out.
Who doesn't love to play with paints? But it takes a special kind of person to truly get the artist Jacob out of his shell. Donna didn't want to hear a word about Jacob needing help painting. She wanted Jacob to paint on his own. He picked each color today. Donna simply supported Jacob's arm, and every stroke on the canvas Jacob painted all by himself. At one point, I could hear on Jacob's breathing how hard he was working to make full strokes across the whole canvas. Not a little task for our boy. And as art therapist Donna said: "it is only the true artists who leave a little white on their canvas".
At the same time as Donna was working with Jacob to perfect his first canvas ever. Sarah decided to join the art therapy. She warmed up to Donna immediately. She got to pick her own special box to paint and she got to make her own canvas. Donna guided her through the colors and strokes she suggested Sarah to try. It was a beautiful interaction between one of Jacob's therapists and Sarah. Sarah has unfortunately not had the best relationship with the Butterfly program due to the social worker assigned to her years ago. It was wonderful to see her working side by side with her brother. As it was time to schedule the next art therapy appointment, Donna asked if Sarah wanted to join Jacob for his next therapy appointment and her answer was "sure".
Nurse Shereen and I also got to put our creativity to the test today. We got to paint a special box for Jacob. We are going to keep Jacob's special things he tells us with the help of his talker. We take pictures of what he says, print it, and put the memories in Jacob's box.
So every two weeks, Jacob and Sarah will get to explore their creativity together. I am very much looking forward to seeing this unfold for both of them.
And just because we have so much snow in Colorado, here are some pictures of our girl taking full advantage of this cold winter weather. She is a true winter girl!