It was truly a Yin and Yang weekend around here.
We spent Saturday having some exciting family time. We played Wii, but only the 4+ player games. We made our own pizzas. We enjoyed popcorn and a movie. It was a blast! I haven’t laughed that hard with my boys in a long time. I enjoyed watching their competitive edge during a game of Wii bowling.
Sunday brought anxiety. Lots of anxiety.
We were invited to a Mardi Gras celebration at the high school our friend teaches at. We go every year. The boys love playing games and winning
candy prizes. We finish the event with some sort of decadent, Mardi Gras style treat.
Of course, there’s always live music. Large speakers pumping out popular tunes in the confines of the commons area. There are high school students everywhere talking loudly, laughing loudly. There are people everywhere, crowding small areas. A general nightmare for most kids with SPD.
And for us, as usual, the nightmare begins the day of.
Eli woke up early and started his day slowly. I surprised him with a fruit smoothie while my honey was out getting fresh bagels. He cried uncontrollably because he didn’t want that for his milk. He wanted a chai latte instead. Keegan, who normally loves smoothies and can’t get enough, rallied with Eli and I drank the smoothies on my own.
The boys were playing a Yoshi pretend play game. They were pretending to be Yoshi’s and had their eggs. I even had to put up the mushroom swing in the basement so that they could use it as a nest. Shortly into their play Keegan started crying. Eli was twirling around and moving into the kitchen. My honey tried to get him to stop while I tried to find out from Keegan what happened.
My brother was twirling because he needed to. He ran into my belly with his arm. It was an accident. He didn’t know he hurt me. He didn’t mean it.
This little guy gets it. Probably better than I do. He plays closely with his brother. They do most everything together. Keegan understands Eli’s need to move. He understands that Eli doesn’t always know where his body is. He understands that sometimes he may get hurt. He recognizes that he wants to make it better.
So today Keegan was Eli’s therapist. He took him to the basement and played with him the way his OT sometimes does. He used competition in the pool during swimming today to get Eli to do some extra swimming, some extra heavy work. And does Keegan know that he does all of this? I’m guessing no. But, he knows what makes his brother better, what makes him calm, what keeps him from hurting others.
Our day ended with a calm family dinner (ok, there was a little whining because Keegan was exhausted!). Eli read his books for the week to me and did a terrific job of sounding words out.
I watched my boys bond in a different way this weekend. I watched them create an understanding between them about this difference that exists between them. I watched Keegan step up to be a protective little brother. And though the anxiety Eli had drove me crazy, I was proud to see how Keegan handled it.
Somewhere along the way we did something right.