Awareness - Day 4

Ok, so ideally this post would have marked day fifteen, instead of day four, of Autism Awareness Month. As I anticipated, however, the chaotic vortex that is my family's house in Texas left me little time to so much as check my email - much less to compose a few sentences that would be meaningful and worth anyone taking the time to read. Now, back at 37d, after almost 24 hours of travel and two-and-a-half days of fighting off jet lag, I am ready to get back into the game....sort of. At least, I think, I can manage to post something small, which may be relevant both to this month and to my time in the states.

This is my brother Nicholas. He is autistic. I will admit that this picture is a little old - almost two years, to be exact - but Nick is VERY fast and finding a quiet moment to take a clear picture is not always easy.

I love all of my siblings more than I can say and cherish all of the memories that I have of them growing up, but for some reason my memories of Nick have stuck with me more than the others. For example, I can remember exactly where I was when he was born. I don't usually have the most detailed memory, but I can remember almost everything about that day. I remember the classes I attended and the friends that I spoke to. I remember the social events we were planning for and I remember others who were also celebrating their birthdays that day - people I hardly knew and who I haven't seen for almost ten years. Why I should remember this day so clearly, I don't know, but it was only the beginning of a series of very vivid snapshots of the times I have spent with my brother.

Today, Nicholas is nine. He is fun-loving and energetic, with a distinct edge of mischief. He enjoys climbing, swinging, coloring, playing in water, watching Blues Clues and playing games like "chase" or "tickling" with his brothers and sisters - or just any willing participant. Though he doesn't always like to oblige those around him by speaking, he is extremely observant and perceptive, and will easily jump one step ahead of you if you aren't careful. Every time I visit, it amazes me just how much he has grown. I truly believe that the future holds some really incredible things for Nick. He has already been so lucky as to have been born into a family that both showers him with love and keeps him on his toes. As he develops and learns more about the world and himself, his life will only become more exciting.



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