Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Bigs

The Bigs.  My collective name for my older sons, Sam and Zac.  Sometimes that name also includes their cousins who are their same ages.  I try not to write too much about them. They are teenagers (well Zac has about another 3 weeks to go but really....).  They are creating their own digital footprint.  I don't want to embarrass them.

Having a brother with autism isn't easy.  But these two have handled it beautifully.  When B was first diagnosed we offered to find them a sibling support group.  They were not interested.  What was the big deal? We talked to them about people who want to cure autism and why we disagreed with that.  Zac brought me to tears with his response, "Then B wouldn't be B. Autism is a part of who is he is."

They love their brother deeply.  They are patient and kind to him.  But they bust on him too.  They get frustrated with him.  I suspect they don't have invite many people over because B thinks everyone is his friend.  B has been known to wake up their friends at 5 am and ask them to play with him.  One morning B woke me up and asked me to write a note that said "It's been a little while"  Zac's friend had told him he'd wake up and play with him "in a little while".

They know that having both parents at a game or program depends on how B's day went.  Or if mom and dad are both there, Nene (my momma) probably isn't because she's home with B.  They give up their time to watch B when I have a meeting or have to work during the summer because they know that's easier for B.

Vacations have been sticky with B.  He doesn't like to be away from home for long.  Sleeping is hard for him so sleeping in a hotel can been torturous.  Two summers ago we went to Chicago.  Chicago is Sam's favorite city.  B was a champ but we just could not be gone too long.  So there were things we didn't get to do. Sam took it in stride.

Last Spring Break, we went to Universal Studios to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  We were able to get B a disability pass so we didn't have to wait in long lines.  My favorite quote from that trip was "finally autism pays off" on our way to the front of the Gringotts line.  It kind of seems insensitive but it's true.  My boys deal with the hard parts of autism all the time and this was a simple thing that seemed to make it better.

Last week we went on a cruise with a whole herd of our friends.  We made the tough decision to leave B with Nene.  We knew a 7 day cruise would be a hard sale for B. It's hot and there's no wifi.  When he found out those two things, B wasn't interested in going.  We wanted the boys to have a week to do what they wanted without worrying about how it would effect B-man.  They had a great time with their buddies!

My Bigs aren't perfect.  They are flawed like all of us. They mess up plenty.  But I am so proud of the men they are becoming. They are learning to give of themselves for someone else.  They are learning it's ok to be different.  They are learning to love, warts and all.


Paul R. Wood said...
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Paul R. Wood said...

First of all I think "The Bigs" is such a cool name and wish it was around when I was growing up. Seeing, reading and hearing about all the ways you and your spouse try to do things to make sure all are included is such a fantastic testament to who you all are. I am truly honored to know you and as a result, know your family.

Keep on writing lady. I am loving it.


Aimee Bartis said...

Thank you Paul!!