We were asked to focus on images that related to our one little word. We came up with nine smaller images and one larger image. Although the scrapbook does not require explanation (again, intentionally), I shall explain for the inquiring minds, starting with the upper left photo.
Upper left: Ignatius at a Cross Country meet in Fairbury. He is in pain and coming in dead last. But he finished. He persevered. That's strength.
Upper center: Scott and I. I used this photo for my/our Move More Eat Well album. Basically, it comes down to this: We must be strong for each other. When one is weak, the other must kick in. We must balance. Our family stability requires it. A symbol that relying on someone is not a sign of weakness, but rather, of strength.
Upper right: The running ladies. All of us comes with our different histories and our different roles. That day, I ran the first 5K in under 40 min. that I have run in years. It was Sally's first 5K. The run was the Autism Run, which represents a whole additional level of strength needed in my life.
Middle left: That is Ignatius. Breaking a board. With his foot. The innocent bystander might think that such a task requires physical strength. To a degree, it does. It's also about practice and hitting the board at just the right spot with the right part of your foot. As I stood there with my camera, I had my doubts as to whether it would happen. Then, the camera and the break snapped at the same time. Serendipity.
Center: An ice storm in Central IL. Ice storms always make my trees bend and look like they are bowing to God. Love the symbolism. Who else can make a tree bow?
Middle right: Max decided he wanted to climb the rock wall at the Irish Pumpkin Festival. No fear, no second thoughts, despite the fact that I was soooo nervous. He did not make it all the way up, but he sure did try. Inner and outer strength was evident on this day.
Lower left: Ignatius' Confirmation night, with his godmother and grandmother. Each of them is a multi-layered symbol of strength. The sacrament of Confirmation bestows the seven gifts of the spirit in symbolic ways. Fortitude is my favorite gift of the spirit. Moral courage. Ignatius wondered why he didn't feel differently after his Confirmation. Little did he know that, just like the characters in the Wizard of Oz, he had the seven gifts. Each of them is realized in its own way. Ignatius is always the bearer of what is "supposed" to be. He points out right and wrong. While that can be an annoying trait of his Asperger's, I think most people (including me) are annoyed because we know he is right and what we are doing at the time, well, isn't.
Lower center: Max and Dad. Symbolic of my husband's strength to be the father my kids need. Their autism pushes him out of his comfort zone at times. It requires each day to be handled in a different way. Nothing is for certain, and nothing is consistent, except we must he ready for inconsistency. Takes a strong man to stay and not walk away. He will do anything for the kids.
Lower right: Ignatius at Scout Camp. That photo was snapped on Family Night. Scout Camp was the first time he was ever away from us for a week with neither of us with him, no cell phone...and he was on depression meds for his anxiety. I was so proud of him. He hated it, but he made it through. And he learned that camping was not his gig.
Larger photo: Planking, Plato-style. This photo represents my quest for physical and emotional strength. When holding a plank, the entire time, I am tensing my core and telling my body, "If you don't plan to hold yourself up, whom do you think will?" I just felt that would be the best shot representing many ideas central to my one little word.
In March we are charged with something a bit simpler. More to follow! I have to print some things off for Move More Eat Well!