Today is not about Sean. Rather, today will be all about Carissa. Happy Birthday to my beautiful, brilliant baby girl (shhh....don't tell Ashley I called you my baby!)
From the very beginning - and I mean the VERY beginning - Carissa was different from Sean. Months of fertility treatments, a seemingly elephant's-length gestational period, complications, 25 hours of labor, an emergency C-section, more complications.... that was all Sean.
Carissa was my surprise during my first visit to the doctor to BEGIN fertility treatments. When I told my parents, they said, "Wow, those fertility treatments work really fast!"
No, Mom and Dad, let me explain....
Her pregnancy was a breeze except for the day she decided to turn and attempt to push every rib to its breaking point. She and I were monitored more closely than the Thanksgiving turkey. She was, after all, more anticipated. Even labor was going to be induced and timed to avoid a near fatal complication that I had suffered with Sean.
After 10 hours they brought the scrubs in and said, "Time for a C-section." Carissa thought otherwise and arrived via a grand entrance indeed.
Carissa was not going to be like Sean. She was going to be different. She was going to be unique. She was going to demand the world pay attention to her.
And pay attention we did. It was always her and not Sean that would prompt the phone call to work making me scurry home. It was always her....
You can't really blame her, can you? She was born into a world that most kids don't know. Born into a world of waiting of rooms, of doctor visits. Born into a world with a brother who needed more than her parents could sometimes give.
She is amazing in spirit and bonds with her brother in almost a twin-like fashion. They can fight like the most wickedest of children and then the next be intertwined like a pretzel sitting on the couch watching a movie. When she would be punished and have her blankie or Barney taken away, Sean would find them and sneak them back into her room thus risking punishment himself.
They share the goofiest of youtube videos with each other. If Sean is at the computer doing something interesting then Carissa is at his side. If Carissa can do a task then I expect Sean to do the same. She is the model of progress by which I measure Sean.
They are close and one day will conspire against me as any siblings are prone to do. I dread that day but will celebrate the milesone....
They are my twins - born 21 months apart, separate and unique as can be, and yet connected forever by this crazy thing called autism.
I don't allow the word "hate" to be used in my house but, if given the chance, Carissa will say that she "hates" autism. "Why did he have to be born that way?" "It's always about autism. Everything is about autism." Even this blog caused her one night to go stomping down the hallway.
I don't know why Carissa.... They say that God gives children of special needs to special parents. But you Carissa, will know him the longest. Maybe it's not the child or the parents that are the special ones. Maybe it's the sibling. Maybe it's you, Carissa, who is the special one.
I love you baby doll. Happy 11th Birthday.