I read a meme posted by a parent raising a child with autism and it said, I love my neurotypical child. That thought resonated with me on so many levels. I love my oldest son with autism and I love his younger neurotypical brother and sister. Little Miss A has had a lot of attention with her breathing problems and then her speech delay. And our world got flipped even before Mr. L’s official autism diagnosis.
But we can’t forget Mr. C. The lovable and always talking middle child. In his own way he brings balance to the force. Before he could even walk he thought Mr. L was the coolest kid on the block, we could prop him up on his boppy pillow and he would watch his toddler older brother Mr. L play with his trains and just think it was the best past time ever.
Today Mr. C still loves to tag along with whatever Mr. L is doing, and loves to try to get his older brother to play super hero games with him. We’ve been blessed that these two boys enjoy each other for the most part because without even knowing it. Mr. C has been pushing his older brother to keep up emotionally, verbally, cognitively, and even academically. They each have a built in playmate and a slumber party friend.
But Mr. C is a great helper with Little Miss A too. He can get her a cup of water, open her fruit snacks sometimes, can check on her for me if I’m busy in the other room, and can help keep an eye on his little sis when I’m busy carrying stuff in from the car. He’s a natural helper and one of the most emotionally sensitive little dudes I’ve ever met. He just has ALL the feelings. He feels deeply and strongly and always has. As a toddler he was capable of upending full trash cans in his diapered rage, and now as a little kid demands so much justice on a daily basis.
He is the one in the family that likes to poke and prod everyone. He knows his older brother’s buttons and pushes them every day. But he is also quick to say sorry, and to say thanks. Out of all three kiddos he’s the one most likely to throw out the random “I love you’s” and still tries to fit in my lap.
Mr. C is a good kid. He knows to ask before running outside, let’s me know if his little sister is following him out the door, reminds his older brother to put on his sandals before going out, and keeps an eye on Little Miss A until I can finish what I’m doing and get outside to watch her myself.
Sure, we’ve had our moments with his frustrations of why his older brother is different, and we’ve had the privilege of teaching him why Mr. L isn’t like the other kids. But at the end of the day, he’s the one that climbs into Mr. L’s bed after the lights have been turned off and the good night’s have been said.