Brett turns 17 today! Hard to believe.
I used to laugh when I heard OLD people saying things like "time sure does fly".
But as I gracefully age (big smile), I find myself saying the very same thing.
It really does seem like just yesterday when Brett was a little guy, and now I turn around and he is 17 and not so little. His conversations have turned into conversations about college, jobs, majors.... and I can't believe we are 'there' already.
Brett is such a blessing to our family. He can light up a room with his smile! He has such a quiet, gentle and caring spirit about him. And he has this stubborn streak (must have gotten it from his dad) that is soooooo strong. We call that DETERMINED around here.
As Brett enters his last year of childhood, and prepares to enter adulthood, I can absolutely say that the world is a better place because of him being in it!!
And one of the things that has shaped Brett into the young man he is today, is having a brother with autism.
Being a sibling of a person with autism is not easy.
Research will say it comes with:
- embarrassment (with peers, in the community)
- isolation, loneliness, loss
But having a sibling with autism also creates UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITIES and even at time UNEXPECTED REWARDS.
It shapes siblings into people who have a very different view of life and of people.
For Brett, I can tell that having Jared for his brother has added these things to his life:
- a caring perspective of others, in other words TOLERANCE
- insight that the world does not center around our own personal wants and desires
- a greater sense of appreciation for family and health and talents
One of my favorite things these days, is to see my two high school guys, get into the car and head off to high school in the mornings - on their own.
And Jared, who typically prefers mom to anyone else, will say "I wanna ride with Brett" when it's my days to drive them to school.
That's how I know.....
Jared couldn't have a better BIG BROTHER!!!
Happy Birthday Brett!