So I have been working on a couple of different little projects which I am super excited for y’all to see! Thrifting and upcycling are some of my favorite things but I also love to knit and crochet. So when they combine together I am on cloud nine! I just posted my latest creations for sale at The Red Picket Fence on Etsy. Go check them out! Anyway I love all my creations but I have found over the years that some mean a little more to me than others. I admit I play favorites. My pick of the week this week is one that I really hold dear because of what it stands for in my life. So without further ado I present “My Perfect Piece” Stitch Markers.
I seriously could not be happier with how these came out! As many know the puzzle piece has become a symbol for Autism awareness. Now I do not have a child who has Autism but I do work with quite a few kids in children’s church on Sundays. I am in no way an expert on the subject of Autism. I just know how those who have it have affected my life for the better. First and for most may I say to the parents of these kids that you are AMAZING!!!! You are absolute warriors! Your level of commitment to your children is absolutely awe inspiring! I applaud you on every level. Just imagine me slow clapping for you!
I think this piece means so much to me because I have learned so much from each and everyone of these brave kiddos. Many times they are coming into my classroom, which is usually full of controlled chaos and mayhem, sometimes not so controlled, and having to adapt. This is often a challenge for them but they make it through. Sometimes well and sometimes not. Through interactions with these kids and families I have learned just how much the puzzle piece means and represents for these mighty kids.
The puzzle piece represents areas of my life that I needed to grow in and these warrior kiddos have helped me to do just that. First of all let me say that I love these kids who have Autism. Each and every one of them is so different even though they get put under the stigma blanket of Autism. They are individuals and have their strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us. God has a plan for them that I believe is not despite their diagnosis but to include it. Often times children with Autism are extremely perceptive and see things in ways that most of us don’t which is beautiful and unique. However, I will be honest that before I worked with many of these kids I put them in a box of symptoms but now I see how special each one of them is and that they are not their diagnosis. Ignorance often will cause us to be blind to beauty.
Kids, in general, deserve for us to go the extra mile for them but especially if it means connecting on their level. I have a kid in my class who is on the spectrum. He usually sits in the back of our room, on the floor, with his special stuffies. He didn’t talk to me for SIX months when I first started working in children’s church at this church. This actually hurt my feelings because I have always had an easy time of connecting with kids. We are just naturally drawn to each other. So much so that usually at parties I’m playing with the kids. Who else is going to ask you what you third favorite color is? It is blue, by the way. Anyway October came around, which meant Superhero Sunday! This is our non-Halloween celebration during church. One of the things I do is dress up as a superhero for weeks in advance to advertise for this major event.
I will never forget one of the Sundays I went back into children’s church to get the kids excited about Superhero Sunday the next week. I had a blue leotard and big red cape on so I was kind of hard to miss! I mean I usually carry my cape with me but most the time I think it is a bit much for my casual look. I walked into the room and this boy locked his eyes on me. He NEVER even looked at me before. I made it to the front of the room and made my announcement and then he stood up in the back. I will never forget what he asked next “What is your name?” I told him Supergirl. A big smile came across his face as he said “Oh, hi, Supergirl. I like your cape.” JUST LIKE THAT I WAS IN!!! Now he talks to me without me having to be in costume. I learned that I had to push in and meet him where he was at instead of just giving up. I treasure the conversations and his opinion of my latest costume. He gets a big kick out of it as do most of the other kids.
Making these stitch markers reminded me of just how much I need these kids in my life. They keep me honest, grow my patience, and remind me to always strive to do the best I can to connect with each of them on an individual level, not just as a whole. So these stitch markers are for them, my perfect little missing pieces.
If you would like to purchase these or my other one-of-a-kind pieces please visit my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/theredpicketfence
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