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Grab Your Toolbox

“Daddy, what needs fixing?” is what I think Ethan said as he dropped to the floor and opened his toolbox in front of me.

Imaginative play has erupted recently in my house, so when our behavioural consultants left some costumes and a toy toolbox at our home, things got real, very quickly.

The fridge was measured, the dishwasher was hammered, the oven had some screws loose, and the wrench came out for the pipes under the sink.

All the while, I was still thinking of the initial question. “Daddy, what needs fixing?” Just an innocent question from a three-year-old with no concept of ironic deeper meaning. No concept of the state of the world surrounding him.

I looked around the room at our broken family, each one of us trying desperately to survive in our own ways. I thought to myself; I need to be fixed... we ALL need to be fixed, but how? Where do you begin?

Well, Ethan had it figured out. You grab your toolbox. See, we’re all broken in one way or another; some just hold the pieces together better. Seemingly men have a harder time accepting this. We think we can fix it on our own or that there is nothing wrong, to begin with.

But at the end of the day, I’ve learned that the secret to surviving as a special needs parent is in the tools you keep in your toolbox. That’s where support from organizations like Autism BC comes in. They are parents just like me who understand the struggles I’m faced with and can provide the resources to help me fix the problems.

He asked again, “Daddy, what needs fixing?” As a tear rolled down my cheek, I quietly said, “everything... everything needs fixing, Ethan.” He looked up at me, and with a sparkle in his eye and a grin on his face, he excitedly said, “Okay, Daddy... I fix!” as he grabbed his toolbox and ran down the hall.


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