Siblings are amazing…

Its funny how similar or different siblings can be.

When you think about it, with the same parents, and similar information being input from schools, you’d expect a similar end product (yes, I just referred to human beens as end products).

I grew up as one of four children. I was the oldest, which obviously meant I was the best. I try to remind my siblings of this, to this day, regardless of the actual truth of it.

Growing up, we all had similar interests. More or less. Both of my brothers liked computer games, much like myself. Both my sister and I enjoyed Sea Cadets and Judo. We were all relatively sporty (and hugely competitive). Now though, we’ve all drifted in different directions. We’re in our late thirties to Early forties now, and haven’t lived together in over twenty years, so our inputs have been different. My sister works in Child care, which is something that interests me, and if I weren’t in IT, I’d certainly be in something relating to it. My older (of the two) brother works in IT also, and my youngest brother is a plumber. He started in IT, but changed his career in his late twenties.  So despite our geological differences, we still all are similar-ish.

My kids… they’re not. My oldest son is Autistic, which in itself is quite a difference, but we’ve always treated all of the kids the same. He does his chores, just like his siblings. He likes his games, just like his siblings, but his goals with these games are different. He doesnt play through games to follow the story, he plays the game to make his own story. He’s very much into making movies of his own. When (at the age of 6 or 7) he discovered powerpoint, he started using it to make storyboards. He’d turn it into an animated comic, with drawn characters plucked from Memory. Over the last few years, this has changed into him downloading 3d animation programs, creating and downloading character models, and making his own little movies. We rarely get to see these, as he’s only making them for himself, but one day I hope to be able to get him a powerful enough computer, that he can begin to seriously model his own characters.

My Younger son has also now been diagnosed with Higher functioning Autism. This doesnt affect him educationally (too much) but it does affect him socially. He considers the majority of his peers as idiots, and looks down upon their childlike behaviour. He doesn’t understand why the boys play-fight, or why his peers use bad language and deliberately disobey rules set by the school. He doesnt understand why they’re not quiet during class trying to learn, like he is. He loves to play computer games, though his favorite part is to modify the games, so that they become something new. He isn’t interested in story, just in how they can be changed. He loves to read also, and recently we’ve started to introduce him to our favorite authors. School had him reading ‘the classics’ which had started to bore him of reading. It took some fun popcorn reads to get him back on track again, and he’s now devouring our back-collection of urban fantasy books.

My daughter is pretty much the opposite to most of us. She’s always smiling, has a huge circle of friends, and loves doing almost everything. I arrived to pick her up from school yesterday, and overheard a ten year old telling her Dad, that that was her friend from year One. Her brother, a year younger, turned around and said “and she’s my friend too.” Its very important to her that everyone sees her as a friend. I dread her teenage years.

She would rather be outside playing. Doing sporty things, seeing her friends, and generally exploding with energy. She also loves reading, and playing on computers, but will happily play with anything thats available (and this includes cardboard boxes).

This whole post was prompted by thinking about my siblings, and my children, after I heard yesterday that my youngest brother had been rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack. I heard this morning that it wasn’t a heart attack, and that he’s been given a clean bill of health. But for a few hours, I sat quietly wondering whether I’d see my youngest brother again. Bit morose really.

Anyway, happy thoughts, flowers, sunshine, dogs frollicing in a field.

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