Let’s be real for a minute. Really real. My kids like each other, sometimes they love each other, but most of the time they fight.
Sometimes it’s picking, nagging, trying to get a rise out – type of fighting. Sometimes it’s fists of fury and gritted teeth – type of fighting.
They argue over whose turn it is to do anything. They argue over who won or lost the race to anywhere. They seem bent on wanting whatever it is the other one has, which can be tiring- (💯 real: tiring is the understatement of the century!)
There are alliances built: “hey let’s hide from so and so”, “hey let’s splash so and so”, “hey let’s hit so and so.”
There are also sweet moments of: “so and so, come to my room”, and “let’s wait for so and so”, or “so and so is my favorite.”
It’s precious, and it allows me to hope that maybe in twenty years they’ll text each other on group messages just like I do with my siblings.
Obie’s ASD, specifically the speech aspect, hasn’t gone unnoticed, and it has led to tough conversations and mistakes on my end. We started with the word “special” which only sent the message that Obie is special and Booger is not. So we tried again. We talked about “different”, and that helped, but then I began to realize that Booger is logical, so we decided to call a spade a spade. We told Booger that Obie is Autistic, and explained what that meant for him and for us. It’s a work in progress. Sometimes he understands, but sometimes he is just a kid who wants attention, so we try to give him that special time, too.
We have had therapists come in who didn’t understand our family dynamic or how to include Beasty. So, while they may have been incredibly equipped to help Obie, we have had to say goodbye and turn to other therapists who understand that Obie and Beasty come as a package deal. We favor therapists that understand siblings who should be noticed and desire to be included.
The reality beyond breaking up squabbles is that God gave Obie Booger, Beasty, and Bear, and that in His wisdom He gave Booger, Beasty, and Bear -Obie. In every moment, even the tough ones, even when I’m yelling time out, and sending them to the corners of the ring so I can assess the damage, I have an opportunity to show them how to love, care, and relate to each other.
And in God’s grace, I have the same opportunity for them to show me how to love, care, and relate to them.