Seriously? You just walked out of the bedroom Sean and sat down at the table. You haven’t even eaten breakfast yet.
I can’t. Not now.
I have breakfast to make. I have the dog to feed and let out. I have lunches to make.
I have to email school. I have to call the air conditioning repairman.
I have to get your gym uniforms from the laundry pile and put them in your school bags.
No, this morning I can’t rub you.
The “have’s” in my life are sometimes overwhelming and, admittedly, usually not something I want to do.
But today I don’t have to rub you because I have a zillion other things on my list to do.
And first and foremost, is taking care of your sister.
Yes, sometimes in life, while you want to concentrate all of your efforts and time on your disabled child, you have to step back and take care of the other people in your life.
And today, it’s Sean’s sister.
She’s hitting her tween years in stride. Slipping, sliding, totally out of control, laughing and crying every step of the way.
Her tween years – aside from being the opposite sex of Sean – are completely different than what we experienced a couple of years ago with him.
Sean couldn’t wait to get to junior high. She cries every morning to get out it.
While he had “friends” who were more classmates than anything else, she has close friends, best friends.
And one of her best friends moved away this year.
After years of being transported in a cab or bus, he is relishing the independence of walking the half-mile to and from school.
She is struggling with the extra physical demands.
Add in the books, the gym uniform, the schedule, the math class, the soon-to-be, school-issued laptop…. She has the weight of the world on her small shoulders and she’s carrying it all in an ill-advised messenger bag.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I don’t know what I have to do.
Ironically, it’s easier with Sean. You don’t assume he’s going to be ok with anything and thus you break his world into a million little bits and tackle one miniscule piece at a time.
Going to your locker, walking through the lunch line, changing out your books… everything is broken into its components and simplified.
Is that what we’ll have to do with Carissa?
Do we have to exam her entire schedule, her entire routine and break it down?
Like I said… I don’t know.
It’s funny how you’re so consumed and so used to living in the special needs world that you almost don’t know how to navigate and understand the typical world out there.
Is all this angst simply normal tween stuff and we were merely spared due to Sean’s diagnosis?
Were we so in-tune with him and watching for it that we were able to conquer it before it got out of hand?
Sean and Carissa have always been my little twins. They were born 21 months apart. Developmentally, Sean would mimic Carissa.
Now Sean seems to be hitting his stride and has left his sister behind.
So right now Sean, while I love you dearly, I can’t rub you at this moment.
But you’ll be ok….
I have to go take care of someone else at the moment… I have to take care of your sister… and that is one “have” that I will gladly undertake.