The Big Picture


This image came up in my timehop today.  This was Lennon’s kindergarten homework two years ago.  I still think this is awesome.

At that time in our lives, Juliette had just been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I had had an epiphany: Lennon is on the spectrum too, a classic “aspie” little professor.  He wouldn’t get his official diagnosis until a bit later, but I already knew it in my heart.

This is a perfect example of how those on the spectrum “think differently.”  Most children would look at this image and see the “big picture” and describe the overall scene depicted here, saying something like “the man is ordering ice cream from the ice cream truck, and there is a dog playing with a ball nearby.”

Autistic people see the small details first, and then piece them together to arrive at the “big picture.”  Lennon looked at this image and immediately zeroed in on the small details, especially the things that were different or out of place.

Both answers are equally correct.  His answer just represented a different way of seeing things.

The world needs all kind of thinkers.  We need those who are good at seeing the big picture.  We also need people who are stronger at seeing details and patterns.

I, for one, love that my kids think a bit differently.  Through all the challenges we have faced since the day my son was born and my entire world turned upside down, I have never once doubted that the kid is brilliant.  ❤


Roland’s 2nd Birthday Letter

Dear Baby Roland,

Well, my sweet son, I am running late on writing this birthday letter.  Perhaps it’s because I didn’t want to accept the fact that my baby boy has gone and turned TWO on me!

You will always be our Baby Cute (the nickname your big sister came up with when we first brought you home from the hospital), but you sure are a big boy now.  Maybe it’s a third child thing, or maybe it is just your personality, but you have always wanted to do everything you see others doing.  Much like your big brother at this age, you don’t seem to have much of a concept of the fact that you are little.

Yes, you are independent, yet you are also still quite attached to me.  I get lots of cuddles, hugs, and sometimes kisses – only on your terms though!  Daddy and I consider ourselves very lucky when we get unprompted kisses from you.  You and I still bond with each other through nursing.  You are showing no signs of being ready to wean yet, which is just fine with me, since you are my last baby and I am soaking up the last remnants of your waning babyhood.  I’ve seen how quickly all three of you kids have grown.  I know that your baby and toddler days are numbered.  Before I know it I will be sending you off to kindergarten!  Speaking of which, you seem practically ready for school already, with how much you know.  You know all of your colors (pink and orange are probably your favorites), you can sing your ABCs, and you can count to thirteen!

For now, I am just happy to have you home with me.  I have been thoroughly enjoying our days together, especially now that your siblings have gone back to school.  You are my little buddy.  You are right here with me with each thing I do throughout the day.  You love to help with chores, like putting away laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and wiping up the many messes you make.  Maybe you will be a tidy, organized person (unlike your mother, haha).  You certainly don’t like to have messy or sticky hands.  You want to wash them immediately, and if I try to help you rub your hands together under the running water, you say “No mama!  I wanna do it!”  That’s a common phrase we hear from you often these days.  You just want to do everything “myself.”

We are in awe at how well you are communicating at just-turned-two years old.  You speak very clearly in complete sentences, and have been speaking like this for many months already.  After your brother and sister developed speech in completely opposite ways, Lennon speaking incredibly early, and Juliette being significantly speech delayed, I had no idea what to expect from you.  I guess you are following in your brother’s footsteps with this.  It has been just incredible to watch you learning to speak with seemingly no effort, just picking up new words and flawlessly combining them into sentences.  You are amazing!

Speech is not the only way that you remind us of your brother, Lennon.  You look a lot like him, with the same adorable short and chubby baby physique (which is sadly starting to change from baby-like to kid-like), the same crazy mop of thick curly hair, and the same big brown eyes.  But you are NOT Lennon.  Nope.  You are your own little person.  And I feel so lucky to have had you, to get to know this new, awesome little boy.

You are mellow.  Thoughtful.  Intelligent.  Agreeable.  Silly.

We are all totally in love with you.  Especially your siblings!  They both call you “their” baby.  Anytime Juliette sees a baby anywhere, she starts talking about “her” baby, how cute he is and how his name is Baby Roland.  Watching you playing with your big brother warms my heart.  He is very patient with you.  Lately you two have been pretending to be different animals together.  Lennon lets you choose, and your favorites are kitty cats, puppies, and froggies.  You are going to be a froggie for Halloween this year, so I am sure you will have fun hopping around and saying “ribbit!”

Your imagination is incredible.  You do adorable things like sharing food and drinks with your toys.  You also like to make them have little conversations with each other.  The other day I watched you playing with a toy turtle and a dinosaur.  “Hi dinosaur!  Hi turtle!  Do you want to take a ride on my back?  Yes!  OK, get on my back!”  I just love watching you playing!  Your other favorite thing to do is play “cool cars” (matchbox cars/tracks), so we have been doing that together daily.  You also love doing creative things like sculpting with play-doh and painting with watercolors.

Speaking of creativity, mark my words, son.  I think you might do something with music someday.  You love to sing, and you are really good at memorizing song lyrics.  You can actually carry a tune really well!

You can do anything you set your mind to, and already at only two years of age, you are showing us that you love to learn.  I can’t wait to continue to watch you grow up.  But not too fast, please.  My heart can’t bear it.  Stay my sweet Baby Roland, please oh please.  ❤

Love always,


collage 2yrs

collage ro