My daughter was only 4 months old when I found out I pregnant with my son. I barely had enough time to adjust to motherhood and I found out I was having another. As my daughter watched my belly grow I would tell her that’s your brother growing inside there. I knew she had no clue what was really coming but she smiled and patted my belly. She was 13 months old when I brought him home. I laid him in his cradle she walked over took one looked at him and screamed. I laughed inside it already began the sibling bond of I love you, I hate you…I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
Having an older brother myself I know the feeling. We had many trials and tribulations in our life. We laughed and cried. We fought and celebrated. We had our own language that no one understood except the two of us. He often tortured me as older brothers do and I often got on his nerves as little sisters do. My brother is one of the best parts of my life.
Now here I am a mother of two beautiful children of my own. I never understood my mother more than I do right now. She would be ringing her hands together as my brother and I would get into our all out battles. “Please don’t fight” with desperation in her voice. I understand now how much it must have hurt her to see her two children fighting. But as quickly as we fought is as quickly as we would be off playing some other game or figuring out where we were going to next. The life of sibling is complex yet so simple when you connect to the fact you are made from the same things. You are close as two human beings can get. You are born to be each others best friend.
This makes me reflect on when my son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I was doing everything in my power to help him but I had instances that I felt how is this fair for my daughter. Would she ever have that typical sibling relationship? I knew that she loved her brother and he just adored her. His big brown eyes would follow her around the room. My daughter quickly caught on to the fact that her brother was a little different. I always battled with what I should tell her and when I should tell her. She would often sit in on his therapy sessions and would watch as the therapist would prompt him to answer there questions. She learned to use the same techniques with him. She would say “You want to play with me..say Yes!!” and so he would look at her and say “yes”. She figured out her way to have her brother in her life. In the beginning it was just her dictating what he would do and most of the time he did it or he would have a complete melt down. As I am writing this I just realized how COMPLETELY “normal” that was. Isn’t it always the older sibling telling the younger on what to do until the younger one figures out there “voice” and starts saying “NO”. That is pretty much what happen with my two kids. My daughter will still get frustrated with him but I guess that’s life.
She sometimes asks me questions like “Mommy why does he flap his hands”. I now tell her his brain just works differently than mine and yours. Everything inside his head gets mixed up and his teachers, Dad and I helping to organize it better. Hands down though his best teacher has been his sister. She comes from such a pure place with him. She just wants her brother and accepts him for who and how he is. She refuses to take less than his best.
He too, has been her best teacher. He taught her that she needs to be patient, kind and that she has to share. He taught her when someone comes over and knocks your building blocks down that you were working on for the past half and hour to…Yes, let be realistic SCREAM and then not give up and start over again.
I couldn’t imagine my life without my brother and I know my kids feel the same way. They are blessed to have each other as I am blessed to have them. The following quote sums it all up.