puzzleBefore our eagerly anticipated New Year’s 4-day weekend began, I went out and bought myself a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle.

I am not fooling myself that there is any high art in this–putting these puzzle pieces together–but that was part of my plan: I didn’t want to create something new. I wanted the comfort of knowing the picture was already there waiting for me, full of whimsical colors and shapes; I just needed to negotiate how it all fit together.

And I could do that while sipping a cup of coffee–or a glass of wine–for as many uninterrupted hours as I liked. And long after it got dark and the boy and the dad were happily fast asleep, I took Pandora up on its offer to play me all my favorite late-night holiday songs.

That’s how I spent Saturday night, and by 3am I was holding the final piece. Once it was placed, and I had had my fill smoothing out the puzzle grooves with the tips of my fingers so that I could properly admire Picasso’s unique composition, I removed a single piece.

As per my deal with my husband, he would be the one to put in the final piece the next morning. That way, we could tell our friends that I started the puzzle but he finished it.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a puzzle piece has become the autism icon. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions to evoke Saturday night’s approach when it comes to understanding Brooks: slow down, take one piece at a time, and most importantly, never lose sight of how beautiful he is.