When I came home tonight, C was standing quietly by the window arranging his cars just so. This is nothing new: he often moves objects around, reconfiguring them until they match some picture in his mind.
When I ask C about his cars, there is no imaginative story of a freeway or traffic jam or people on their way to work. There is only the patient process of arrangement.
Of course, I can't help but look at the cars and see the pattern he's created: from left to right, police car / 3 cars / police car / 3 cars / two buses. If he didn't create patterns all the time, I might consider it a coincidence, but I know now that it's like his own morse code, a message to himself or the rest of the universe.
While I still wish C could tell me a story about his cars, I am coming to accept that the cars are telling me a story about my son.