K has an older brother too! S is 19. He is starting college in the Fall after he works and saves some money. (There’s a lesson for you with small children, get an RESP!) He has always been such a big help with K, ever since he was old enough to understand his little brother’s special needs. He was only a year and a half when K was born (insert naughty comments here) and just starting to explore his world himself. He loved his little brother from the start! He always wanted to help with him, from feeding him a bottle to fetching me a diaper. He always wanted to push his stroller when we went out. As they both grew up, S started to notice that his brother was a little “different”. He would ask me why K didn’t talk or why he was always crawling instead of walking. (K didn’t start walking until he was 7.) I explained to him that K has Down Syndrome which meant that he didn’t learn things as quickly as other kids, but he would learn them in his own time.
S has always been a very mature and responsible young man. When K was diagnosed with Autism he went online to read all about it. He started babysitting him for hubby and I so we could go shopping or out for dinner. Aside from hubby and myself, he was the only one who could handle K. No other family member had watched K since he was a baby because they couldn’t handle his behaviour. We came to depend on S a lot. So much that he had to take a spare for his first class all through high school so he could get K up and on the bus because hubby and I were working. We had an attendant come in every morning to get K washed, dressed and fed, but she left at 8 and the bus didn’t come until 815. It was S’s responsibility to make sure he got on the bus and that B had breakfast and went to school. He started doing this when he was 14.
I always worried about putting too much responsibility on his shoulders, but he never complained. When B was diagnosed with ADHD he started to make sure he paid B more attention. There is a 6 year age difference between them, but S played board games and video games with him. He brought him outside and taught him hockey and basketball. Sure, B gets on his nerves from time to time and there is always sibling rivalry but all in all I can see them being very close their whole lives.
When S turned 18 he asked us if we can put in our will that if anything should happen to us, that he becomes K’s guardian. We did.
Now that S is working he doesn’t have as much free time as he used to, and he has a steady gf, but he always finds time to spend with B, and he still loves to play with K. Hubby even told him today how proud he was of him. With S starting college, and K on the waiting list for permanent care, I am starting to realize that my boys are growing up and they will eventually move out. B can’t wait. He gets his brother’s room when he’s gone!
I can wait.