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Sunday, February 8, 2009

When Mom's Not Watching

This week I heard stories from two different individuals about Jordan that melted my heart and made me determined to keep him once and for all.

Jordan is our #2. He flies under the radar and it's not hard to see how.

When James was born, there was a lot of fuss. He was the first child, grandchild, and great grandchild on both sides of the family. He got a lot of attention.

Jordan came along 2 1/2 years later. He was a great baby, though he had this look he would give me (even in infancy) that indicated that perhaps he didn't think I was competent enough to be caring for him.

14 months later Jared pops out and all hell breaks loose. Well not really, but Jared is a handful and he was SO entertaining. He was also fairly high maintenance.

2 1/2 years after that Jackson arrives. He is the youngest and at almost 7 years old, I still treat him like my little baby.

So James is the beloved eldest, Jared sucks up people's attention, Jackson is the sweet baby.....Jordan can often be the forgotten one. I hate that, but that is how life has been for him and not just from his family.

So you can imagine my joy when I heard about these two events.

At school a few months ago, Jared lost his water bottle before school. This is a bad thing and he was very concerned and upset and completely fixated on this bottle. Jared's teacher, who is amazing, did all she could to help him and calm him to no avail. So she went over to Jordan's classroom across the hall to get his assistance. She wanted him to help Jared retrace his steps and look for this water bottle. Jordan agreed to do it, of course, and just calmly put his arm around Jared's shoulder and walked him down the hall telling him it would be okay.

A few weeks ago in Cubs Jared was having difficulty with an activity. Jared has challenges with following instructions and fine motor skills and was getting agitated. Jordan went to help him, again calmly, and helped him and coached him and gently said now Jared will know how to do it the next time.

Jordan is 10 years old. Jared's condition is tough for him. It can be embarrassing for Jordan. He doesn't know what to tell his friends, that is until yesterday and he is relieved in some ways. His friends know what Autism is. Jordan and Jared are a grade apart. They will almost always be in the same school and that often puts a lot of responsibility on Jordan . It may not be fair, but it's life.

At home these are not typical events, and as the mom I worry about the dynamics the boys have with each other. I find relief and joy in these experiences.

I talked to Jordan about what I had been told about him. I told him how much I appreciated him and was grateful to him for taking care of his brother. I acknowledged how hard these situations could be for him and gave him permission to let others know what Jared's challenges are. It was a real nice moment and I must make a greater effort to sit down and talk with him more.

He's a bright, brilliant boy with a little sarcasm on the side. He also feels things deeply. Next year he moves on to middle school and has a year off, so to speak. I told him to enjoy it and he laughed.

I love him to bits. You hear that, Jordan???? To bits!!!!!!!

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