For this post, I wanted to give you a little idea of the kind of relationship Eric and I had when we were little kids. I think the picture of the sign I posted on my bedroom door speaks for itself. And you’ve got to love the spelling error and the hello kitty paper haha. But just so you get an even better picture, here’s a little story.
My mom always liked to have talk radio on in the car when she was driving us here and there. Apparently, I was a very receptive child because she told me that one day as I sat in my car seat in the back of our van, I began to comment on the situation the caller and the radio host were discussing. The man calling in was complaining that his wife wasn’t doing something or other for him (we both don’t remember what it was, it’s insignificant either way) when I chimed in with “Eric’s wife will do that for him!”
My mom looked in her rear view and tried to come up with the best way to say this–“Oh honey, Eric probably won’t have a wife.”
My response (with a scowl): “What do you mean he won’t have a wife?”
Mom: “I don’t think anyone will want to marry Eric.”
Me: “Hmph. Well if no one wants to marry Eric, then I will marry him.”
wow…pause.. for a smile and to laugh at myself :)..haha…
I was totally taken back by this revelation. Why wouldn’t anyone want to marry my awesome little brother!? He never took my barbie dolls or complained about me occasionally giving him make-overs. He swung on the swings with me, rode trikes, and danced along to all my favorite disney songs. Even though he came into my room without knocking when my friends were over, I never let it phase me. Hence the posted rules. I always just expected my friends to accept his presence. He would make his noises and laugh to himself, occupied by whatever was going on inside of his head. But I never let anything bother me. Eric was part of the package at my house. And that’s how it’s always going to be. He’s part of my package.
So the lesson today is, that there is a place and a reason that disabled persons are put in this world. They may not fit the norm or live a “typical” life but really, who’s life (and family) is typical!?
Now it’s not necessarily about the people coming into my room (and obviously the sign on my door looks a little different now as a young adult haha) but it is about the people that want to come into my life. They have to know that Eric will be part of the package..forever. I will never allow him to be put in a place where he is segregated from the rest of the community. Eric will be with me. And that is the type of sister I am to him. Although I was unaware at the time, growing up with him was already teaching me patience, acceptance, and understanding. I can only hope that he will teach my kids, and everyone he encounters, the same lessons he taught me.