When the rest of the world has trouble understanding my daughter, her siblings have her back.

Brother hugging his sister.
Brother hugging his sister.
Photo: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

My two little ones take turns pushing a plastic grocery cart across our wood floor. At 2-and-a-half, they have learned the art of making a game out of almost anything.

Tickled with delight, my daughter catches her end. With a squeal, she turns the miniature shopping cart around, sending it gliding towards her brother. He accepts the flying cart with a giggle and squeals even louder as he sends the cart back again.

They take turns again and again, trading laughter and a shopping cart while I pray the game lasts long enough for me to finish making dinner.


We learned that college degrees and steady jobs and a house with a two-and-a-half-car garage couldn’t protect us from heartbreak.

Depressed lonely woman sitting in sorrow
Depressed lonely woman sitting in sorrow
Photo: Martin Novak/Getty Images

There is an unplayed voicemail from my boss. When I summon the mental strength to listen to it she’ll repeat that she is sorry for our loss while gently asking when I think I’ll be back at work.

It has been two months since the birth of my triplets, and prior to their arrival, I had been hospitalized for 10 weeks. I worked from my hospital bed on good days and stared at the ceiling listening to three little heartbeats on bad. My boss had been gracious with my time off but was rightfully concerned that I may never return.

I want to encourage my son to express pride and ally-ship — but I also want to shield him from everything else that may come with making a statement in our small town.

School age boy looking out the window.
School age boy looking out the window.
Photo: MoMo Productions/Getty Images

I bought a new Pride shirt to add to our collection. Who could resist a sloth holding a rainbow flag? Since Pride Month was just beginning, I knew one of us would wear it. I didn’t think it would be you, though.

You came downstairs ready for rehearsal, rainbow flag on your shirt, threatening to knock me over. You are not my outspoken one. You’re not the first one to stand up for causes or voice your opinion. You’re always a little worried about causing a stir or drawing too much attention to yourself. …

I didn’t realize why my youngest volunteered to go to the grocery store with me until we got to the check out. I was speed-unloading the cart when I looked up to see him building a tower of produce, soup cans and ice cream (in that order because, of course).

The week before I had taken his brother. He made a similar tower as the belt rolled towards the cashier. His creation made it to the cashier before I could tell him not to make towers out of groceries, especially moving ones. The manager was one aisle away and came…

My oldest child has autism. At 21 she is nearly twice my size with a personality that can only be dwarfed by her temper. She is kind, unapologetically honest and willing to stop traffic if you hand her the wrong color gummy bear.

Her siblings are much younger than her and much of our last ten years has been spent keeping her calm while raising them with a heavy dose of understanding. Sometimes I get brave and take them all on long outings alone. …

Jessica Watson

Juggling coffee and sanity. Dropping them both. Author of “Soon” a children’s book. www.fourplusanangel.com

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