Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Puzzle Piece Pin

A twitter/facebook, autism advocate and father wrote something so simple:

I like to think of my child as having an extra puzzle piece rather than missing one.
(via Stuart Duncan - Autism from A Father's Point of View

Last Saturday (January 15) my son and I attended a new autism support group. As we walked in, I was handed a puzzle piece pin as were the other parents. After the meeting, I removed the pin from my blouse and attached it to an auxiliary cord that hangs from my rear-view mirror. I like having it there. Reminds me of Puppy while driving – just the same as the pictures of him on my desk also put a smile on my face. The meeting went pretty well and I was able to meet some new families and check out the new facility that has just opened up in town.

Well, this past Tuesday as we were driving home, Puppy reached out to touch the puzzle pin and asked me, “What is this?” and “Why do you have it here?”

I turned to him and said, “It’s a puzzle piece, and it reminds me of you because you are my puzzle piece.” Of course he was confused. Oh sure it was all so clear in my own head, each word I was saying made perfect sense to me. But my son just looked at me and asked, “What puzzle?”

So knowing that I was in a place we had not gone to before, I told him it was a pin from the place we went to on Saturday, the one with the indoor swings, slides, etc. and that the people were all there because we love our children so much and we want to share our stories with each other. I followed it with, “You liked that place, right?” And he had enjoyed the swing that was big enough for his 5’7” and 150 lb body. He nodded and his attention quickly returned to his favorite thing, his wallet.

When we arrived home, I sat for just a couple of minutes in the truck and looked at the puzzle pin. Soon, I will have to find the best way to explain to him that he is my greatest joy just the way he is. I wouldn’t change a thing about him, MY puzzle piece.