One thing I love about having a bucket list is that it makes you think about the relentless march of time…. The children and I sit and talk together about what it is we want to do; we read articles and look at pictures and think about the impact we’d like to have on the world… and also the impact we’d like the world to have on us!
And we talk about how those things will work with autism… in short, how they will work for J.
But, having declared G-week yesterday, I realise that one thing we don’t talk about enough – that I don’t write about enough – is how autism and our set up affects G.
Now, it’s fair to say, G is delighted with G-week. It’s equally fair to say that J is NOT delighted with G-week…. he truly can’t understand why she would get a special treat he doesn’t get… even though I’ve explained countless times that she often has to forgo what she wants to do for him…. he’s just not buying it!
Here’s an example… When G was 2, we completed Lands End to John O’Groats…. and in all honesty, that was specifically because J wanted to do it… I had shown him a rail map of the UK and asked him where he wanted to go… He chose Penzance (the most southern station in the UK)
to Thurso.(The most northern station in the UK)
And, I’m thinking… if we are going to travel from Penzance to Thurso, we might as well do Lands End to John O’Groats… so we did…..
G did get a shiny trophy for doing it, (something I will be forever grateful to the LEJOG association for… because I’m pretty sure you’re not meant to complete the trip by train!!!)
but realistically, we’d done it because J wanted to do it. It had little – if anything – to do with G.
And, rather like having a bucket list to remind you of what’s important, sometimes you need to take a little time to stand back and make sure you are doing what IS important.
Right now, it feels important to take time to celebrate G. To take a step back from thinking about autism and remember that there is a little neurotypical girl who also needs some attention. A little girl who spends a lot of time in the shadow of her brother and, honestly, in the shadow of autism.
A little girl who always does what is expected of her.
And who has an equal right to shine!!
This week, G gets to choose a special treat each day – anything she wants (except another puppy or to not go to school!!!). Today she’s chosen slime…