Saturday, November 7, 2009

Family dynamics

I got an email from my younger brother. He is developmentally delayed and our older brother and his wife are his guardians. Older bro does a darn good job seeing to lil bro's needs in a very caring, but also very straightforward, way. Lil bro has a way of pushing our buttons something awful, and I am not sure he knows how truly thankful my sis and I are that he was willing to step up to the plate on this. I am not really even sure how it all happened. It just did. I suspect big bro did it for Dad when he decided to move from the area. They had a very special bond that I was always a bit jealous of.

The email was quite simple. It seems that his new fancy cable system router for his computer has died. New and fancy can be tough. It is a whole new system that needs to be taught. But lil bro eventually turns it into his routine and life goes on. I think part of his "delay" affects his expectation level. I guess that may be part of the buttons that he pushes, and that he likely doesn't even know about. Things are just to "be." On his time schedule, and fitting appropriately into his routines. I think all those years of "there's nothing wrong with your little brother" comes into play a bit here. Funny how the uglies can rear their heads at a most inopportune time. Anyway, this nice little email, about four lines long, seems to be a bit of a breakthrough for lil bro. One simple line said it all: "What a great brother we have, if it weren't for him i don't know what i would done you know what i mean?"

Pretty cool. I forwarded it on so that on those down days when big bro is tired and gets the third or fourth phone call of the day, he can read it and know how appreciated he is. Of course I added my own line of thanks as well. In all those growing up years, this part of the picture never surfaced. It was never something that was planned, or even considered. I am so grateful to have a brother that was willing to take on the role. It would have been taken care of but no where near as well as is happening now. I guess some of us never have the luxury of having the kids raised and out of the house. I am grateful that I have that.

So, thanks big bro. And thanks lil bro as well, for recognizing all that is done for you. Life is just not automatically placed in your lap with all the fancy wrappings intact. You do seem to be getting that, and that is a very good thing.

Reminder to self: Christmas is coming...


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