Two of my three children have Asperger’s Syndrome. I still recall the day that my second child was diagnosed and my pediatrician smiled this funny, knowing smile. “Even though they are siblings and they have the same diagnosis, it just hasn’t manifested in the same way,” the doctor said. “But you can still see it in both of them.”
When describing life on the spectrum with my children, I like to use a common saying: stop and smell the roses.
I never had the patience to stop and smell roses before I had kids. But God gives you what you need, and God wanted me to be patient enough to stop and smell the roses. Through my children, not only did I learn to smell the roses, but I also learned all about their genus, species, petals, stems, root system, the soil in which the roses are planted, and the aphids that live on the leaves. I now am, like my children, an expert in roses.
I might not know anything else about the garden; I don’t know daisies or petunias or shrubs, but I know everything that there is to know about roses. And I appreciate their beauty—and their imperfections.
By Lindsay Foster, mom of MacArthur, 13, Mary Grace, 12, and Theodore, 9