Thursday, April 29, 2010

Through My Child's Eyes

Tonight I attended Gillette Children's Children's Art Showcase.  Whoopee, you say, right? Yet another event, schmoozing with people you don't really know, etc, right?

Guess again.

This was an event put on by Gillette showcasing artwork from many of our patients. For a $25 ticket people could show up, enjoy some hors d'oeuvres and drinks and bid on artwork completed by a Gillette patient. Each piece of art was accompanied by a little bio talking about the artist -- the oldest artist was age 12.

I could enjoy this evening because for one, I am not the vendor (as I was in my prior life). And...since I'm also not the relationship person who has to schmooze with people there, I got to show up with my soon-to-be 7-year-old.  I asked a few people at work if it would be okay if I brought my daughter; after all, it is a work function. But I knew that the children who did the artwork would be there, and I knew that my daughter would like to meet some of the kids who are treated at Gillette, for as shy as she sometimes is. And since I didn't have any goals for the evening, I felt okay bringing Lindsey.

When we first arrived we helped check people in as they came in -- Lindsey loved helping cross their names off the list. Then after the majority of people arrived, we got to go in and see the artwork and meet the artists.

Lindsey wanted to bid on a couple of pieces, and honestly, the artwork was pretty awesome. It was also beautifully framed and well presented. The bios could bring tears to your eyes as you read each artist's story of their various diagnoses, how they came to be at Gillette, and the incredible care that they receive there.

The best part was that Lindsey got to connect with Lila, one of Gillette's patients who is also featured in the hospital's Cure Pity campaign. (Photo above.) She was born with no right hand for no known reason -- God apparently decided that that was how it was going to be. While she used a prosthetic from Gillette for some time, she now chooses not to use one, and it is truly amazing to see how much she can do with her "little hand," as she calls it.

By the end of the evening, the two girls were playing tag on the back lawn of the art center, running around with a handful of other little girls, all in their little party dresses or skirts, some with disabilities, others without, but all having fun on a beautiful spring evening.

I know that my camera did not capture the moment.

The best part was that as we were leaving, Lindsey commented on how much she liked Lila. I knew that she would for some reason -- from what I knew of her she seemed like the kind of girl my daughter would like, someone with spunk and tenacity. Lindsey was wishing that Lila went to her school, and said how amazed she was at how well she used her little hand.

As we got into the car, she said, "People should really not look at Lila's hand, but look at Lila and see her."

Wow, that is so smart. "You know," I said to her, "Some people live their whole lives and never know that, and here you are, a little girl, and you understand that already."

I learn so much from my daughter every day. I am so proud of her.

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