When it was first confirmed we are parents of an autistic son, I half thought of buying one of those puzzle piece ribbons for the van. I’m kind of like that; right now our massive beast of a van is the repository for stickers detailing where we’ve driven it (Vail being the most prestigious looking–we don’t mention that it was during the off season). But I let it slide. I appreciate the thought behind the puzzle pieces. I appreciate seeing it on other people’s cars and know that we aren’t walking this road alone.
But there’s another piece of our family puzzle I haven’t mentioned much simply because her story is unfolding at its own pace. We have in our care a special little rosebud whose petals are slow to unfurl. We get glimpses of the beautiful flower she’ll become, but still she needs our help, our hands, our voices, our love, and our patience to support her. You know her by her blog-pseudonym of Sunshine, and a ray of sunshine she truly is to all of us. And as I watch all our darlings grow up around me, I realize that to me, there is no missing puzzle piece. In fact, sometimes, they are each of them a puzzle, and sometimes the typical ones are more of a complex jigsaw to me than the two who are supposed to be more of a challenge. 😉 This isn’t knocking the puzzle piece design or anyone else who likes to use it. I just chose not to buy one for my van because there’s a lot on my van already. And as much as I want the general public to give my autistic children a break, I also hope someone tries to do what we do, and look past the evident differences and see the wonderful side of them we are privileged to see.