Best Birthday Ever

Benjamin loved his brother from the very first moment he saw Sebastian.

Baby boys

I’ll admit many of Benjamin’s classmates had siblings and I longed for my boy to have that kind of bond. But for awhile, Sebastian treated Benjamin like a piece of furniture.

Furniture boys (1)

I remember after Sebastian was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, my brother James said, “At least you know he will improve.” I knew he was right, but in the heat of crisis that truth didn’t comfort me. It didn’t matter to me that Sebastian’s situation wasn’t like Benjamin’s- where doctors couldn’t do much and the average life expectancy was two years. I had two boys whose futures scared the hell out of me.

I’ve written about Benjamin and Sebastian’s bond in the past and how wrong I was about Sebastian’s actions and feelings, and I love it when he shows me how right my brother James was all those years ago.

One of the things John and I have been trying to help Sebastian learn is to think about others and other people’s perspectives. This is not a challenge confined to those on the spectrum, but autism doesn’t make our task any easier. I’ve discovered the hard way to accept that Sebastian will learn when he’s ready and I always have an eye for any indication that our efforts are paying off.

Yesterday was Benjamin’s 19th birthday. For all the obvious reasons, that alone made for a pretty incredible day. As Sebastian was leaving for school he said, “When Benjamin wakes up, tell him I said happy 19th birthday. Don’t forget.”

After he left, I did a little happy dance complete with a few fist pumps. It was so sweet to know he was thinking of Benjamin and wanted to be sure I relayed his message.

There are days I still worry about both their futures, but all that dissolves when I choose to focus on today.

Sebastian captured Benjamin perfectly.

I’m so proud of how far they’ve both come.




4 thoughts on “Best Birthday Ever

  1. Your love and spirit shines in your words, Joanne. Sebastian “caught” this from his parents. Your dance was so deserved after his birthday wishes for Benjamin. May you have more blessed dances of joy like this. Your words are an inspiration! Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

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