Last year after school, I picked them both up in the carpool line every day. They would sit together and wait for me. Except for on some days if Archie was still working on something, or if he was having behavior issues, he wouldn't come out as early. And I knew as soon as I saw Ace's face walking towards my car if it had been one of those occasions. She would come out with tears streaming down her face, sobbing. Couldn't catch her breath.
The first time it happened I was all, "what in the world is going on?" It was like slow motion as she walked to my car practically hyperventilating. Every bad thing that could have possibly happened ran through my mind. Then a teacher helped her in, and explained to me that Archie hadn't made it to the carpool waiting area yet, and she was upset and scared. Talk about a mom heartbreak.
We waited a minute and then Archie was shuffled to our car by his aide. He hopped in and immediately asked, "why Ace cry?" She couldn't talk, but leaned over and wrapped her arms around him and laid her head on his shoulder. It was as if she thought she would never see him again and was overcome with relief when she finally did. She was doing the whole gasping for air cry, so I pulled the car over and climbed in the back with them. Ace and I sobbed. Archie was beyond confused. Begging us to "no more cry, please!"
That happened on and off for the rest of the year. And no matter how many times I told Ace to please not worry, she reacted the exact same way every time it happened.
Sometimes being Archie's sister is tough. I think siblings of kids with special needs are some of the most amazing humans there are. It is a whole different world. So much of who she is has been shaped by being Archie's sister.
Of course, I want Ace to be a kid. And to not have to worry about her brother every second. And we are getting there as they get older. Slowly but surely. It involves a lot of talking, reminding, and reassuring. But she will always protect him and have his back. And that is okay with me.
Lots of Love!