Maddux was assigned a "Reflections" project the week before Fall Break. As usually happens, we didn't really catch wind about it until the day before we returned to school. And it is due tomorrow.
We discussed that, while I love that she wanted to do photography and I want to devote time to that, we didn't have time, so Maddux was going to have to come up with her theme and plan quickly. And it would have to include a photo shoot in our yard.
The first thing Maddux had to do was decide on her focus for the project. She was to create an original piece of art that represented 'my story'. So I asked Maddux what her story was.
When she answered, "Down syndrome", I was immediately stuck in that place between being wanting to hug her and tell her how insanely proud/impressed I was and wanting to hug her and tell her that Down syndrome doesn't have to be her story. The thing is, that is who Maddux is: she takes on other's everthing and makes it hers as well. She's kind of amazing.
But this project is supposed to be totally from and of her, so I asked a few follow up questions, to make sure she understood what she was choosing. She gave good explanations, so we moved on. Because it is days away from the deadline, I helped her come up with a quick timeline: brainstorm, gather materials, take photo, edit and print. Most of that took place over the last two days: tonight was edit and print night.
That's where it got crazy good: the writing portion. In 10-100 words, Maddux had to give an explanation of her piece. The theme was "My Story". As Maddux read to me what she wrote, I couldn't believe the beauty. When she finished, I asked her to look at her picture and see if it matched up with what she wrote. She said, "Yes, because it's Ruby and she has Down syndrome." I nodded but told her to think more about what other things she wrote about:
When Ruby was born, we realized she had Down syndrome. I did not know what Down syndrome was, but Ruby opened my eyes to unique people. Ruby brightened my world; she will be my light forever.