From the first time my parents brought me home, my brother Aidan had suspicions about me. He thought I was given too much attention.
Even now, he is reluctant to share my parent’s attention, but lucky for him, he has one more person to give him the attention that he longs for. This is where my role comes in. I am his entertainer/friend/brother. He is quite a bit of work I would say considering that you have to comment on his favorite games while he plays and I am trying to sleep, run back and forth collecting his DVDs whenever he spills them, but I have learned to like it. Nowadays I cannot go to sleep without his ‘Baa baa black sheep’ lulling me to sleep. So I turn it on even if he is not playing – it has become my music to fall asleep. When he is happy, he will give me his favorite DVD or computer game as a thank you for taking care of him. That is his way of showing how much he cares for me. A small but wonderful gesture that holds great significance for me.
It is a very different experience having a brother with special needs. I probably can’t tell you many incidents compared to others who have a normal brother. So I am basing my comparisons based on what I have heard from my friends. For instance, if you had a normal brother and tried to speed in front of him, you may be knocked off the stairs since you both end up speeding. But with Aidan you just duck under his arms and run ahead of him. Aidan cannot move fast due to low muscle tone, and you feel like a fast speed runner running the mile. A normal older brother would know how to fix his own computer, not ask me to come in and do it, or ask for help in typing a favorite tune because he forgot the spelling of his favorite show tune. These things give me immense satisfaction and make me feel like the older brother.Sometimes, Aidan can be destructive too - he will scatter all his games CDs on the floor, and run over them with his rolling chair. I will help him by cleaning up things from the floor before he runs over them again. He then very sweetly and profusely thanks me.
Aidan is special to me because he gives me the feeling that I am not alone. He will make you laugh by doing his funky and crazy dance in front of the mirror. He enjoys everything I do for him and appreciates my silliest gestures by laughing like it was the greatest joke in the world. I always put up any annoyance stuck in my head, including the theme song from the dreadful Powerpuff Girls or Dora the Explorer TV shows.
Aidan has a lot of fun with his computer games, and that is why we still own a 1998 windows computer with a very old operating system. His favorite Little People ‘Baa baa black sheep’ can run only on this computer and he guards this computer with all his life. It holds all of his memories, from Wheel of fortune to the first Fisher Price game he played. I continue to see how to migrate his favorite games to newer systems like the iPod or iPad, but so far I have been unsuccessful finding a version of those games that support these newer platforms.
Aidan is very important to me because he is the cause for much of my happiness and lends a meaning to my existence. Without him being special, mom and dad would probably be satisfied with one child and I wouldn’t have been born.
In the future I want to see Aidan able to talk and become a computer expert. I definitely would like to see him get better and do all that can be accomplished by a boy of his age. In summary, Aidan and I have a special relationship that could never be replaced – even when he turns 20, or 40, or 60 and I look forward to being his brother for a long time to come.