This essay over at Literary Mama really touched me. (Laura Shumaker is the author of A Regular Guy With Autism. You can read the first three chapters here). We've been having our own sibling issues as of late.
Seth has begun to surpass Riley in a lot of physical areas. Swimming, biking, climbing. She is taking it hard, becoming furious at him for his typical development.
"YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME!" she'll scream in his face.
He thoughtfully, sweetly, tries to convince her, "No I'm not. No I'm not, Riley."
Today he swam underwater for the first time and she had a complete breakdown over it. She's nowhere near being able to do this; still clinging to the swim teacher for dear life. If we make a big deal of Seth's accomplishments, Riley falls to pieces. Screaming pieces. The level of self hatred she already has for not being able to do typical kid stuff, cartwheels, somersaults, etc. It's heartbreaking. I can talk up her strengths 'til I'm blue in the face, and it's in one ear and out the other.
We're sending Seth to a beautiful day camp for six weeks this summer. The director said they would try to accommodate Riley, perhaps if we hired an aide, etc. It might work.
I thanked her, but no.
Seth is a dream come true brother
and he needs some room to grow.