Sister

July 17, 2019

I didn’t know that I neglected her.  After all, I was driving her from art classes to ballet to piano lessons, to camp at Audubon, to claiming ropes.  Yes, I was driving her everywhere.

I drove her because she had this great potential and openness to the world but since I didn’t do any of those things myself, she couldn’t learn them from me.

Moreover, at that time our life at home was changed by Robert’s problems.  He had tantrums. He pinched. He bit himself. He screamed. That was difficult for us, his parents, and it had to be even more difficult for his two years older sister.  I wanted to familiarize Amanda with people and places which would allow her to learn and grow without the distortions that ruled our house.

Yes, we did try once or twice so called ” Sibling Groups” which were the creation of  well-meaning people to allow siblings of children’s with autism to forge close relations with those who shared their experiences. But those experiences are never shared.  Each child with autism is so different that the siblings really wouldn’t have anything to talk about. At least Amanda was not sharing and, possibly, not listening to others.

Moreover, she had her own problems.  Since, however, she didn’t advertise her problems the way Robert did as she didn’t scream, didn’t pinch, and didn’t have tantrums, we learned not to look for the problems and we didn’t see them.

Besides, she did demonstrate some resilience and she had the ability to deal with her own pains. At least we thought so.

I still remember her crying after her one and only friend in the preschool stopped playing with her.  She cried all the way home.  she cried as she found a large piece of paper and box of crayons.  She cried as she started drawing.  But as she drew her tears were slowly drying,  She finished her picture and she seemed fine.

On her picture two boys on the left side of the page were playing together ignoring the girl standing on the right end of the picture who was overwhelmed by despair.

She finished and she was calm.  So I assume, she was fine.

I don’t know if that was a correct assumption.

Still, I wish, she would drew such a picture today.  Maybe many pictures, as the reasons for our suffering are multiplying and getting complicated as we age and stop addressing or even expressing them.

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