Often, I would try to engage them in putting together a puzzle, this would get them to sit down and get them so focused on finishing a task and during the whole time, I would talk to them in hushed tones, hoping that they would mimic me. This seemed to work for my younger son more than the older (but hey, as long as I took one of the “noisemakers” out of the equation, the other was quieter!).
They were the ones who picked the puzzles, usually of their favorite Disney movie, and when they were quite young we started off with 20 piece puzzles, then as they got older and able to sit longer we got up to a 500 piece puzzle. Like most everyone else, we started with the edges, setting up the boundaries. Then we separated all the “like” pieces and began to construct the inner parts of the puzzle either separately or within the edges. Sometimes, pieces that didn’t seem to go together actually fit together very nicely and were the pieces that joined one part of the picture to the other. The hardest pieces to fit together were the ones that were usually the “background” pieces; the sky or wall, you know, the multiple pieces that were all the same color or pattern. It was always nice to refer to the picture on the cover whenever we needed a little extra help. However, the most frustrating thing would be when all the pieces were used only to discover that one or two pieces of the puzzle were missing! It wasn’t like you couldn’t tell what the picture was without those pieces, you could always use your imagination to fill in the blanks of the missing pieces, but the integrity of the puzzle and the satisfaction of completion always seemed diminished without them.
There are several metaphors of the puzzle we can use for life. Today, I wanted to focus on the idea that each of us is a piece of a puzzle - the puzzle that can be seen as life. We are each unique in shape, size and function. Some of us are better used for setting boundaries and holding the picture together. Some of us may not look like we fit well with others but we are crucial for other parts of the picture of life to fit together. A lot of us may look very similar to a lot of others, and so it may be easy to say to ourselves, “Well, my contribution isn’t much, no one will miss my piece not being there”, but when all the rest of the pieces are used and one is missing, the picture is just not the same, something has been diminished without that piece – it is indeed missed. Of course, it’s always good to have the whole picture or plan to refer to when the vision gets lost. That picture can be a mission statement, a life message, a family motto, an “I am” statement, or a spiritual destiny.
Know that you are a piece of the puzzle that is appreciated, respected and needed. You are unique, and cannot be replicated. You are valuable and this life would just not be the same or complete without you. Have a great day!
-Tessa L. Charles
-Tessa L. Charles