It’s the last weekend before dance classes, baseball, soccer, and school activities return with a vengeance. 2015 has gone by so fast. Lacey is 6 months in to having her driver’s permit and as she was driving us to a soccer game and two baseball games today, I was mentally remarking how well she is doing behind the wheel and how she gains more and more confidence each time we get in the car. Meanwhile, back in the peanut gallery, Adam is giggling hysterically in the backseat and going through one of his favorite scripted dialogues about Lacey and her driving:
Adam: When Lacey get’s her driver’s license, she will take me to the Metra station, to Dunkin Donuts on Saturdays, take me to art class and Tae Kwon Do, and to Culver’s all of the time. But if Lacey crashes mom’s car or the driver’s ed car, what will happen?
Me: I don’t know buddy, you tell me.
Adam: If Lacey crashes mom’s car or the driver’s ed car, she’s going to get ‘all flunked up’
He then continues to laugh hysterically, which, I have to admit, every time I hear this, I chuckle to myself, for he has no idea that he is so spot on in so many ways. Lacey is always such a good sport about this image that he has in his head and will usually throw in a chuckle as affirmation.
At one time or another, we have all been on Adam’s “list”; but my poor daughter has been on this list for quite a long time. He has taken an extremely strong interest in her demise. Adam continually imagines Lacey flunking all her classes and not being able to go to college, locking her in closets, moving her into other rooms in our house, or better yet, other people’s homes. Yes, he has relished in his sister’s failures for what seems like and eternity. In his autism directness, he even flat out tells her that he only likes his brother. And while we continually correct Adam and remind him that he can’t hurt people’s feelings by being so direct, It just seems to repel off his head. And Lacey continually amazes me as to how she always seems to take it all in stride. She may, once and a while, throw in an eyeball roll, but her patience is endless with Adam.
Adam LOVES puzzles. He can typically complete a 1000+ piece puzzle in about a week, with minimal help. Upon completion, he always asks me to take a picture, then immediately destroys the puzzle and moves right in to the next one. He always tries to recruit me to help him, but I’ll fully admit that I have an attention span of a gnat when it comes to tedious tasks. I immediately take a sudden and intense interest in the laundry, the dishes, cleaning toilets with a toothbrush, organizing my sock drawer…you know, anything BUT that! One particular rainy weekend, two weeks ago, Adam was in the dining room working on his latest masterpiece. Lacey wandered in, sat down next to him, and began to work on a section. Adam immediately says:
If Adam ( he sometimes still refers to himself in the third person) pushes Lacey back into a bunch of butter and locks her in the closet, what will mom do?
He’s obviously trying to tell her to ‘get the heck out’. As I am correcting him not being very nice, I have to admit that I’m amused with the visual of Lacey being pushed into butter and locking her in the closet, wondering where on earth he devised this potential “punishment”. I mentally note his crazy imagination and I’m silently thankful that he at least warned me that he is contemplating a retaliation. Lacey gets up and calmly says:
“Ok, Adam. Let me know if you change your mind and want help.”
Over the summer, I spent a full week with just the two of them, while my husband and middle son were in Cooperstown, NY for a baseball tournament. I was surprisingly stunned as to how “anti-Lacey” Adam really is. Over the course of the week, he presented to me, many potential scenarios; from pushing Lacey into the pool, throwing her off the boat into the Chicago river, and finally wanting to fly HER out to Cooperstown and bring Chris and Alex back home. Lacey just continued to shake it off, commenting that someday it will change. As much as I too know this, I can’t help but to feel sorry for her.
They say that you can always pick out a sibling of a child with special needs by their endless tolerance and compassion. As long as Adam continues to express his dislike for Lacey, she will still continue to agree to make detours past the Metra train station, always be ready for a nightly tickle monster, listen to him read the same book over and over, continue to subject herself to getting her butt kicked by Adam at Mario Kart, patiently answer his endless questions, and let him monopolize her phone in order to listen to his favorite Imagine Dragons song for the one millionth time. And she will NEVER complain when Culver’s is ALWAYS the choice for a family dinner.
I know for sure that Lacey wouldn’t trade her brother for anything in the world. I also I know one other thing for sure….when life “pushes her back into a bunch of butter, and locks her in the closet”, she will come out STRONG; because she is the sister, of a brother, with special needs.