When a local mama shared her son’s diagnosis with me, I jumped at the chance to meet up with her to share war- and warrior- stories about our special needs babes.
“Sometimes I get the feeling that people just don’t like him,” she said.
“Huh. Yeah, I totally get that, but not with Lucy. I actually feel that way with Nora.” And it’s true. I do feel that way.
The nice thing about Lucy is that nearly everyone she’s surrounded with understands the nature of her disability. They are more prone to be forgiving with Lucy because they can recognize her behaviors which attributes to her Autism. When Lucy’s beginning to get agitated or angry, they generally applaud her for simple things. And by all means, yes! Those are great accomplishments- continuing to work through hard tasks such as grocery shopping is exceptional! We constantly celebrate her successes and growth- even when its baby steps.
And then there’s Nora.
People are noticeably less forgiving with Nora- and by all means I understand it. It still doesn’t make it fair. And unfortunately for her, life will fall like that.
It’s important to me to share my family’s stories with you because, like yours, my family is entirely unique. I understand what it’s like as an outsider looking in and I can imagine people wondering, “What would it be like to have a child with both autism and gender dysphoria?”
It’s important to me to share my family’s stories with you because I believe when you are able to put a FACE and a NAME to our differences, people are SO.MUCH.MORE. prone to open their hearts and LISTEN.
So, at least that’s what I hope to be doing, pouring out all of my honesty and sharing my heart- as a voice of equality, change, acceptance and awareness.
I can write a million entries about Lucy and barely mention her sister’s name. Not because Nora is unimportant or insignificant, but because she’s totally normal.
Well, as normal as Nora can be.
She didn’t ask to be born into our family, and certainly not as Lucy’s little sister. She didn’t ask to have a sister with special needs. She didn’t ask to follow her lead.
Like I said…. I can write a million stories about Lucy and barely mention Eleanor’s name, but it would be nearly impossible to write about Eleanor without mentioning Lucy.
You see… it’s so much of Lucy that makes Eleanor unique… her greatest characteristics are pronounced through the enormous love she has for her sister.
She is truly compassionate and empathetic. She’s profoundly selfless for a four-year-old. She’s fiercely independent and spirited. She’s fair. She’s everything you’d want in a sister; battles you like hell, but battles and conquers the world FOR you. Without fail she’s on Lucy’s team, even when she’s the one in distress.
These are beautiful traits that I so admire in my sweet Eleanor and can often be unnoticeable underneath all of that sass. (So unnoticeable that I even have to remind myself.)
Because she’s also really loud and obnoxious; wild, untamed and feral. She goes a hundred miles an hour to Lucy’s one. She’s greedy and demanding, high maintenance and particular. She’s the “I’d rather have five Lucys over one Eleanor,” because she’s hard.
Believe me when I tell you it’s hard to parent someone with such a solid personality. Someone who feels all the feels- the high highs and low lows. Especially when SHE’S.JUST.LIKE.YOU.
And yes, I do feel like oftentimes people don’t ‘like’ Nora. And I also understand she’s a LOT. A LOT of everything. But it’s impossible for me to forget that she’s also A LOT of wonderful, packed with love and energy and excitement for life.
This girl is going to change the world. She is going to share her love of life in a BIG way. She’s going to give so much to the world with her compassion and true empathy towards people. And I think together they are going to teach the world about truly embracing our differences and loving one another.
This girl is going to change the world. And I get to be her mother.