One holiday down.
Another to go.
So…how did it go?
It was interesting – but mostly because of this crazy blog that I’m writing.
I have been VERY blessed in my life – with an amazing family…more specifically cousins. On my mother’s side of the family I have eight rather fantastic first cousins – six of them women. The relationship we have is one that I’m positive others yearn for. I am the youngest female and was pretty far behind in years. While that matters while we were growing up…it doesn’t matter anymore.
I may not have a sister – but I have something better. Six cousins who have experienced loss, heartache, joy, love – they have lived – really, really lived.
I love them all beyond words. As I sit with them and listen and watch I realize that we all share a common history, an amazing history full of life, love, laughter, and tragedy. Through it all we’ve remained close. Much of this is because my mom and her siblings have remained close.
Popular media has done (at least I think) a fairly good job in bringing ASD to the forefront of some conversations. The Big Bang Theory is an example – although there is quite a bit of discussion of whether Sheldon is on the spectrum, we know his behaviors are consistent with ASD. In fact, one of Tucker’s teachers recommends the show to other teachers to understand Tucker.
The show Parenthood includes a character named Max. Max is a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. As my cousins were discussing how the character (and show) impact their life I couldn’t help but stop by their table. One of my cousins remarked how she loves watching it because it really makes her think about what other families go through. While her three boys are NT’s (see Day #35 – I’m a Neurotypical) she works with children every day. She commented how often she thinks about how easy her life really is…that they don’t have to deal with any of these issues.
They asked if I watched. I had to fess up…
Sometimes I do. More often I don’t. I don’t need to – I live it. However, from what I have seen…it seems the show’s writers get it right, most of the time.
I can tell you this – as I watched this Max ‘mash-up’ video tears rolled down my face.
Sometimes it’s just too real to watch…so then I began storytelling.
About him refusing to write about turkeys (see Day #79 – I’m Not a Turkey)
About not getting sarcasm (See Day #17- Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say.
About him playing football in the shower (see Day #73 – Friday Funny…A MUST read)
They laughed…I laughed.
About about how he feels about not fitting in (see Day # – Trouble with Peers)
They cried…I cried.
One of my cousins disclosed that she reads nearly every day – she told me she often cries. Not necessarily because my blogs are sad-but because of our life experience.
Because she loves me.
Because she loves Tucker.
Because she has a truly remarkable heart.
Because she doesn’t want either of us to have to struggle in life.
Another cousin chimed in because she and her boys have spent some time with Tucker. She told the others how remarkable she thinks Tucker is. She told them about how he will do something amazing one day because his brain works in different, amazing ways. I choked up.
Because she love me.
Because she loves Tucker.
Because her boys advocate for Tucker.
Because she sees the strength in thinking differently.
So, it seems that our relationship may have come full circle. They read to me, they played with me (I’m sure at the insistence of my aunts), they held me, they burped me, they had me in their weddings.
Now, I get to teach them about this thing called autism. The best part? They want to learn. They want to understand. They want to buy the book (when it’s time). They want…
I so longed to be a part of their group and now I am.
I am a part of them.
They are a part of me.
Tucker is a part of them.
They are a part of Tucker.