Lockdowns due to the global pandemic have been difficult on everyone—namely children. While adults begrudgingly understood the impact staying at home would have, it was more of a struggle for many children who simply wanted to go back to school with their friends.
Over the course of the year, many children found creative ways to connect with others. This can certainly be said for Eilidh Hilditch, a five-year-old from Scotland, whose garage door became a symbol of hope for a neighborhood.
Eilidh Hilditch and one of her creations. Credit: SWNS
“We live on a busy road and could see people doing their daily walk, and we thought we would give them something different to look at,” says Christine Hilditch, Eilidh’s mother. “Everything was Eilidh’s idea. One day it was butterflies and bees, and the next it was dragons and sunflowers. It gave her confidence.”
Pre-pandemic, Eilidh would occasionally draw on the garage door with chalk—easily washed away by rain. But as lockdown forced families to stay at home, the occasional activity has grown into a habit. Twice a week since April of 2020, Eilidh has illustrated a new creation for her entire neighborhood to see—from flowers, to Spiderman, to mermaids, and more. The black door allows Eilidh’s creations colorful creations to pop off the surface and give passerby’s a better view.
A community artist herself, Christine Hilditch was more than happy to facilitate her daughter’s new hobby. To help her reach higher corners, she provided her daughter a stool. When neighborhood shops ran out of chalk, she made her own from scratch using plaster of Paris, food coloring, poster paint, and flour.
As the months went on, Eilidh started to garner a fan club. Neighbors stop to offer praise and even boxes of chocolate.
Eilidh Hilditch with her mother (Christine) and younger sister (Isla). Credit: Michael Gillen.
Though she broke her elbow in an accident at her local park in August, she refused to let that stop her creations. The left-handed girl decided to start learning how to write and draw with her right hand. Determination has made the girl ambidextrous.
“Even after that she was still outside with the broken arm trying to draw,” her mother says.
The smallest signs of positivity and hope go a long way for many. Eilidh’s resilience and love for what she does brought much-needed light to a neighborhood when it was needed most.
Eilidh Hilditch and another project. Credit: Upworthy.
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