The Five Dollar Autism Shoes…priceless…

By |October 4th, 2012|Autism, Blended Family, Life, Parenting|3 Comments|

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again and again and again “Autism is hard. It’s hard on parents, it’s hard on families and it’s hard on siblings.” Do we love our Bridger more than words can ever express? Absolutely!!! But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s hard. I often wonder about the effect it has on our other kids. How do they truly, deeply feel about having a brother with autism? We don’t talk about it a ton because it’s just our life, it’s what we do. We deal. We love the kisses and the giggles and we survive the tantrums and the inconveniences. Last week I got a little glimpse into how our 12 year old, Sydney, feels about it when she went to a church activity on a regular ol’ Wednesday night.

After school Sydney’s big sister Celeste took her to Walmart to get a 5 dollar pair of plain white tennis shoes. She was taking them to her activity that night where they were planning on painting them. She was excited and I was too. I was wondering what they’d look like, if they’d turn out like she wanted, and if she’d actually wear them anywhere. I was not expecting her to return home with the most beautiful shoes I had ever laid eyes on.

The activity was to make a design on the shoes, any design, any color, anything… Well, our sweet Sydney designed her shoes with blue puzzle pieces. The puzzle piece is the symbol that represents autism. In our house it represents love and passionate support of our Bridger and other children like him. It represents our fight for better programs, insurance coverage and equal rights for a sweet little blonde boy that has stolen our hearts! And THAT, my friends, is what a 12 year old big sister painted on her shoes.

Those shoes said it all. They said “Even though autism is hard, I love you Bridger. I will always love you and accept you just the way you are. And I will fight with everything I have to help you reach your full potential and to create awareness and make others show you respect and dignity.” It was that night and every time afterward that I see her wear those shoes that this mommy is reminded that we are a family. We are united. We all feel the same way about Bridger. We stand behind him as one.

Thank you Sydney for painting your heart onto those shoes in the form of a blue puzzle piece. I’m so proud of you.

“Hold on, to me as we go. As we roll down this unfamiliar road, And although this wave is stringing us along, Just know you’re not alone, Cause I’m going to make this place your home” –Philip Phillips