When I talk about our middle daughter leaving, so many say , she won’t be far, it’ll be fine. I hear over and over, it’s part of the process. Life’s next step. I say these same words to my friends too.
And, it is all true. It is all great. But we have an added element added to our equation. Her brother has autism.
This is going to be hard.
This is going to be sad.
This is going to be so new.
Will we get through it , yes.
What I cannot explain to anyone, even to myself, is the bond that these two have, that no one else does.
She “gets “ him before we do.
She anticipates his needs and words before he speaks, she comforts him when no one else can.
He seeks her out for a hug and he looks up to her with his beautiful eyes.
Does this mean we wish she were not leaving , no, not at all. This journey will be wonderful and one that she deserves and will hopefully thrive in. But, if we are talking about the fears and realities of it all, we would be fooling ourselves to deny this unknown piece.
The dynamic of our home will be so different, yes , different is ok. But, what hurts so much is that he can’t express himself the way we wish he could, the way most typical kids can. He can’t tell us how sad he is or how much he will miss her.
He can ask where she’s going. He can google the address and see how far it is. He will learn facts about her college town that will be interesting. He will tell you, when asked , that he will miss her and know the address of where she is.
But, at night or in the morning, when he is use to having her there to be with, as he has the last 15 years, she won’t be there. And, my heart hurt will hurt, just a little bit differently.
To all of us mommas and dads that go through these incredibly special life moments with our typical kids and struggle for our babies that do it “KNOWDifferently”, here’s to knowing you’re not alone in being sad and having this be so undefined.
We will get through it. We always do. But let’s embrace each other with the knowledge that it’s harder than we want it to be and smile for our babies who are entering this new chapter.
I’ll keep you all posted on how this goes and how we all do.
I welcome any words of support or advice.
I’m not an expert. Just a mom living a life with a beautiful soul that has Autism.