Brotherly love

Bring the parent of a child with special needs, although difficult, is rewarding in so many ways. A mother does not choose to have a child that is different or challenging but with the overwhelming instinct to love and protect I find it easy to say that I wouldn’t change Charlie for the world.

Charlie is ‘easy’ to love. Yes, sometimes I feel incredibly sad for him and there have been times that I think I have grieved for the person that he could have been but I love Charlie like you love a cheeky 2 year old. Every achievement, no matter how small, is worth celebrating. Every inch of his naughty personality, endearing, and even every melt down, justifiable and sympathetically dealt with.

Likewise, Harry and May never asked to have a brother like Charlie. I know they both love him in much the same way as us, fiercely protective of him and annoyed with him in the normal sibling ways. But I can’t help but feel, whilst being a brother to Charlie has helped shaped the people they have grown to be, that they have paid a big price for it too…

Families evolve and grow. Which we have, but not in the way you would have expected. Harry has grown up with Gary – luckily for them both enjoying the same interests, which has meant much of Gary’s free time has been with Harry. Sadly these have been activities that just aren’t suitable for Charlie so that has meant much of my free time has been caring for him. In turn that has meant May has missed out on both of our time or attention. For someone who’s personality screams ‘look at me!’ its been extremely difficult for her to deal with.

You often hear parents celebrating their childs successes or declaring how proud they are. Its not so usual to hear that they are being driven round the bend, grey haired or ready to walk… We only ever want to share the good stuff…

We’ve had a lovely week last week. My sisters and brother and their children have all spent time in the sun at the beach hut. It was the perfect way to recover from being I’ll! Charlie was in his element on the beach. He showed independence by going to the shop each morning on his own to buy a bottle of Pepsi and spent hours (literally) sat in a hole on the shoreline.

May took on the role of childminder to her young cousins and everyone was sad to see the week come to an end.

I can’t believe how quick the summer holidays are going – I think I say this every year! Oh well… It’ll soon be Christmas!


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