Thursday, October 6, 2011
It is not often that I am lucky enough to capture such a nice image of my sons together. You know how it goes, one is either blinking, looking wild eyed crazy, totally disengaged, etc. So let's just say I celebrated this one quite a bit yesterday after I captured it. And yes, quickly after it's capture, there it was proudly displayed as my facebook profile pic.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is so true. When I look at this picture a million things come to mind. At first glance, I simply see two brothers dressed and ready to go to school. But upon further inspection, and lots of reflection, I see so much more.
I see two brothers who may be dressed alike, but who are vastly different. Big brother Ethan, our usually easy-going, nonverbal, lovable boy with severe autism. Little brother Nick, who functions as a big brother, our outgoing, sports loving, and sensitive guy.
Even though I work hard at developing connections, or shared interests between them, there really are none. Without a doubt it is hard and it always will be. Nicholas has long since gotten over the fact that Ethan cannot "play" with him in the typical sense. This is all Nick has ever known, but I suspect deep down in that sensitive soul of his, is where it resides. Surely I will hear about it one day when he is ready and able.
I have always felt one of the most important things you could do for your child is to give them a sibling. Someone to have a shared history with. Someone to learn how to navigate the ups and downs of life alongside. For now, they have each other and will develop their own relationship. Hopefully, that shared history will help transcend the disability that makes their connection so difficult. And, hopefully, they will forever remember the importance of being "brothers".