This is the first post from the archives of Anne Copeland, writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist. I have selected this post as I found it profoundly moving and inspiring.
The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland
Image courtesy of Pixels
The life of a child is magical. It is almost unbelievable that something that starts with an egg and a sperm can grow into something so complex and full of so much potential. They are sacred.
I have worked with children for more than 15 years as a substitute paraeducator, instructional aide, and teacher in various California districts. These days have been some of the best days of my life. Every time I get a new child or a classroom full of children I feel as though life is giving me the best gifts a person can receive. My children have been all ages of special needs – physically, developmentally or emotionally challenged, or a combination of any of those things. But I use the word “challenged” instead of disabled because disabled suggest that a person is unable to do things, which is far from true, even in the most severe cases. With consistent assistance, the children CAN learn at some level.
In one of my classrooms as a paraeducator, I served as a one-on-one for a little boy who was autistic and nonverbal, and he had braces on his ankles and feet. He also had to have special liquid frequently to help with his digestion. Although he had these challenges, he was generally cheerful and seemed to have a good sense of his own abilities. The only area that was a challenge was when the children went outside for their exercise.
The braces made it difficult for him to walk very fast at all, and running seemed out of the question when the aides would play a sort of baseball with a big rubber ball and “bases” leading to the home plate. They would throw the ball and the children would run from base to base, trying to get a home run. The little boy I had charge of seemed to see this as a time to “watch” as the other children ran. When his turn came up, he would stand watching, but not try to move forward. This day I took his hand, held it tight, and encouraged him to keep going. We managed to get through all the bases, and at last made a home run. We had two more turns, and each time I held his hand tightly, encouraging him all the way.
Soon we were sitting in the grass resting as the game was over. I turned to him and told him “Wow! We made three home runs!” Suddenly he grabbed me around the neck with both arms and began to hug me until we both fell over. I knew it meant he was so happy because he sensed his victory.
I will never forget that day. As he got into the car and his dad began to drive him home, he reached out with both arms and threw kisses at me. I will always have a smile in my heart when I think of that child.
©Anne Copeland 2018
About the book
This book contains a collection of beautiful art, plus the personal stories of the 23 multi-talented contributors. The common thread through their lives is that each woman has overcome physical and other challenges to become a successful artist in the textile medium.
Many of these women have websites and sell their work through the Internet sites, while others sell in galleries, exhibits, or through their teaching. Some create to speak to political and other social issues, while others use their quilts to educate the public about their physical challenges. If you have dreamed of expressing your own creativity, this book will provide the inspiration you need
One of the reviews for the book
This is a beautiful, moving, and very inspiring book. Prior to reading it, I had little knowledge of this branch of art. Thus it was quite interesting to read about the methods the artists use, as well as to see some lovely examples of their art. Most meaningful to me, though, were the artists’ extremely moving and inspiring stories of all the (mainly) physical difficulties they have faced and still have to cope with. It certainly puts more minor physical difficulties and frustrations into perspective! I hope the book will reach the wide audience that it deserves. It would surely make a fine gift for anyone in your life with an interest in arts and crafts of any kind.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Alchemy-Physically-Challenged-Creating-ebook-dp-B074YFM51K/dp/B074YFM51K
Read more about Anne and her books on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Anne1218
About Anne Copeland
Anne Copeland was born in Fort Jay, New York, in 1941. She has lived with her significant other in Yucaipa, California since 2014. She holds two degrees, one in archeology and one in criminal justice. She is a professional writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist.
I am an artist, and I don’t just like to create mixed media and fiber arts and interactive art; I love to read and write about it, and this is what I have pretty much done. Life should never be a bunch of apologies for what we wish we could have, would have, should have done. I am feeling very happy that I have done so many things in my lifetime and my writing has been the base for most all of it.
I am the Editor of a book filled with the writings of the lives of 23 physically challenged fiber artists: Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating, and another called Pumpkin, Pumpkin: Folklore, History, Planting Care, and Good Eating
Connect to Anne
My thanks to Anne for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to her blog to explore more recent posts. thanks Sally.