Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 26

He's not heavy... he's my brother!

Already having told you about Caleb & Abby's relationships with Josh, I couldn't leave Jared out. Jared hasn't written a story about Josh, or said anything remarkable that I just had to tell you about... so this one was a little more difficult. As I was searching for inspiration on a website with 'brother quotes'... this one hit me... "He's not heavy, he's my brother". I knew that was it... that best describes Jared's feeling about Josh.

Josh and Jared are the most alike. They not only resemble each other (and my side of the family, I think), but also think and act very much alike. Jared isn't as heavily loaded with the 'stubbon gene', but everything else about them is very similar. Let's just say they are more alike than different (if i may steal from yesterday's post). :)

Jared and Josh enjoy each others company a great deal. They gravitate toward each other and have so much fun together. Jared is able to connect with Josh in a way that nobody else can. I think part of it stems from the fact that they both know what it's like to struggle (and learn differently)... so when they are together, there's no pressure. They just are... and they are pretty great together.

Jared also gets the most upset with him. He tattles on him most. However, over the years of constantly correcting Jared for tattling, I have come to realize that he's not doing it to just be a tattletale... an annoyance... or to get Josh in trouble... he's doing it for the future. He's doing it to protect Josh. He is quick to tell me "mom, if he does that when he's my age, he's going to get made fun of"... or... "mom, we have to make Josh stop that now because it's not going to be funny or cute when he's grown up".

Jared is also quick to stand up for what's right. If he sees someone being teased, he's quick to stop the situation. And if it happens to involve special needs... well the person doing the teasing is likely to get an earful (trust me, it has taken us years to explain that no, he can't punch someone out for teasing a kid with special needs!).

One day in the 1st grade, as Jared was working on the classroom computer, a boy came up from behind him and began choking him. He had a good hold and Jared could not get away. Jared didn't fight back... and came home with marks on his neck. I didn't see the marks right away and, later in the evening, the phone rang. It was the principal wanting to explain what had happened and why Jared had the marks... Jared had not told me anything. When asked why he didn't tell me... his response was simple... "Mom, it was _________, I wasn't going to fight him. He didn't know any better and was just trying to tell me he wanted his turn on the computer. It's okay Mom, I'm fine... and I played with him at recess so don't worry about me being mean to him because of this. It was no big deal, Mom." (left the blank to protect privacy).

So that's Jared... and it's nothing that I have taught him, it's just within him. It's God given... and it's pretty great!

Today's picture is of Jared doing his thing... taking care of his brother. The quote struck me because Jared doesn't mind the 'weight' of his brother... on his back or in our family.

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