This is a post about Liam, Aidan’s neuro-typical (NT) brother, my first born, the child that made me a mom.
Here’s what it’s supposed to say:
I’ve always been very conscious that Liam’s life is different; disability effects the entire family. I’ve done my best to give him a full and wonderful life. I signed him up for soccer and baseball and tried to cultivate peer friendships. I make sure we have time together when he can have my undivided attention. We have cafe dates with hot chocolate and croissants and a game of cards. I have no idea if Liam is more tenderhearted or mature because he has a brother with a disability because it’s the only life he’s known. Liam can make Aidan giggle like nobody’s business. It’s clear to anyone that they love each other. I’ve always carefully weighed Liam’s participation in Aidan’s care. When Liam was two years old he operated Aidan’s feeding pump. Now as a teenager he can transfer Aidan from chair to bed and put on his orthotics. I’ll never be sure if these are the right choices or how their relationship will be effected by this caregiver role. I know Liam worries about things his peers know nothing of and should know nothing of, like seizures and side effects and hospitals. I recognize that during his childhood Liam spent an inordinate amount of time with doctors and therapists who did their very best to make that time fun for him. Our time was shaped by Aidan’s needs and I don’t know entirely how that has shaped Liam.
But scratch all that and let me say this instead; this is what I would shout from the rooftop:
Liam is a very cool kid with or without the label NT or “sib”.
He doesn’t particularly like being photographed
Liam asks me several time a day if I want to wrestle. When I ask him, “Why me? Why don’t you wrestle with your Dad?” he replies, “Because I can’t beat Daddy.” It’s true and I have the bruises to prove it.
Liam is quiet and keeps to himself a lot.
He has always been very responsible and helpful too.
Liam will tell you that he doesn’t like swimming and or being at the ocean, but I don’t buy it one bit.
Liam is an avid reader. My best memories of Liam as a toddler are of the two of us snuggled up together reading. Those days have made him both a proficient reader and writer. (Yes, that’s a diaper on his head. Did I mention that he’s silly too?)
I would also shout this from the rooftop: That’s my boy! Liam rocks! Check out that awesome kid! I love Liam!
All of which would prompt Liam to shout “Stranger Danger! Who is that woman on my roof?”
You can check out the article that Liam wrote from the sibling perspective for the Pediatric Nursing Journal here.
Remember to link up and share your sibling story at Outrageous Fortuneand stayed tuned to for the following stories:
Bringing the Sunshine (thursday)
The Fisch Tank (friday)
Love that Max (Saturday)