Not the expert mom with all the answers...the mom who can't stop looking for them.
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Monday, April 15, 2013
Fathers For Autism -Guest Post
I am thrilled that Today's post is from one of my favorite writers -a daddy blogger "Fathers for Autism" he also has a wonderful Facebook Page which is Simply A Must Follow. The love that he has for his children shines through every word that he writes. You just know that he is raising two children who will be wonderful citizens of the world when they grow up.
My son fell asleep in my lap, exhausted from his day.
I may not have too many more years of this...him wanting to cuddle with Daddy. I know I should cherish this moment, but I can only think about today's events.
I watched him be big brother to his older sister today.
Her challenges with autism have aged him, making him more patient, wiser.
I looked at his sleeping face, relaxed at last, and saw something I hadn't seen all day. I saw the face of a 5 year old boy. He seemed so much older earlier...
Nothing out of the ordinary happened today, just a typical day in an autistic household, but I saw something in his eyes and demeanor that made me both sad and proud.
He got it. He understood.
His sister was watching a movie and it was time to leave. Shark Tale. She'd seen the movie 100 times, so it wasn't a new or particularly special experience. Of course, a movie doesn't need to be new to be important and it doesn't need to be special to be meltdown-worthy.
I said my daughter's name and clearly she knew my intent because the scream of "NO!" happened before I could finish the sentence. She shut her door and began to decorate her walls with the marks of flying objects.
Then it happened.
My son calmly walked into the room, unconcerned with his sister's anger. He walked over to her and said "We can watch the movie together tonight. Would you like to play with my video game in the car?".
He repeated this a few times until she heard, understood, and accepted the offer. My son kept a calm tone and posture the entire time.
5 years old.
Later that day, she had taken the iPad from him during his turn. They get a limited amount of time with it and have to take turns. He didn't reach out, didn't whine, didn't get upset. He simply walked next to her and said "Can I watch you play, since you took my turn and then you can watch me play during your turn?". She nodded. I picked my jaw up off of the floor.
My pride in my son is well founded. He is becoming an extraordinary person due, in no small part, to his sister.
It makes me sad, however, that they aren't simply playing, fighting and competing with each other. Typical siblings.
He will never know that.
His life is one of defending against teasing and worse, learning to be patient, and living in a household unlike any of his friends. He will likely learn leadership, empathy, and sense of charity.
His innocence, though, is lost forever.
He's seen the looks the other kids give his sister, he knows what they mean. He doesn't understand why they fear her, mock her, condemn her. She's simply his sister. He doesn't know her any other way.
I hope he always has the same loyalty, love and acceptance for her. I hope he chooses to continue to shepherd and guide her through the world. I hope his need to be her champion remains strong.
I can't ask him to always be there for her, especially when I'm gone, but I really hope...