Sunday, July 27, 2008

Update From the Wolf Den

I found these flowers struggling to survive in the corner garden. Knocked over by rain, they were splayed against the green grass when I went out to mow the lawn. The buds were trying to reach the light and keep on blooming, as evidenced by the curling of the stalks in a pretty successful effort. I thought they looked kind of neat and decided to cut some and see how I could make a bouquet for my table. As you can see, they look very cool and certainly brighten up our dim, rainy Alaskan days.

Why am I talking about flowers when I should be updating Wolf's progress? Because I think the parallels between these gorgeous flowers and an individual with Asperger's are amazing, and hit me as I was talking with someone the other day about the future for our son.

The flowers struggled all spring and summer to bloom. Warm weather was late, the rain has been falling in buckets, and when they finally did begin to grow, they fell down to the ground. But they continued to grow and mature in their own unique and creative way, and were just as beautiful as they would have been staked upright, like they were "supposed" to be.

Wolf has to find his own unique method to bloom, yet welcome the stakes that hold him up, for now. He, and we, have to remember that the rain is going to come and pound him back to the ground, but turning his face up and carrying on, looking for the sun, is okay, even if the outcome seems a little different.

Those flowers don't really care if their stems are straight; they are going to bloom and grow and spread their seeds about the yard. Their special look is created not in spite of their condition, but because of it. And because of it, they earned a place on my table and a photo for everyone to see. They are special because of who they struggled to be. And because I took the time to embrace their uniqueness.

It's a hard thing to resist being staked up like a flower appearing as the rest of the garden flora. Success in our society is measured sometimes like a garden; neat and tidy rows, college degrees, and prestigous jobs making for shiny produce.

May Wolf know he doesn't have to do that. May he grasp that he can be who he is, as long as he turns his face to the sun.

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