Friday, January 6, 2017

The Comforter: Raising A Son With Special Needs

Willie has a sixth sense about people. Teddy, his closest in age brother, is going through a stage where he just can't stand Willie. Willie obviously is aware of this. So how does he handle it? He steals Teddy's comforter right off his bed. Way to warm Teddy's heart. NOT!

There is a pattern here: one of stealing Teddy's things. It mirrors their relationship as well. In the past, Willie has nabbed Teddy's precious earphones, although he had almost the identical and quite expensive pair.  These incidences irk Teddy, as they should. As these brothers grew up almost as equals, their relationship has always been close, not necessarily a positive one, but intimate none the less. Willie watched as his younger brother surpassed him in all skills by the age of 5. Teddy, who looked up to his big brother as only a little brother can, became disillusioned with Willie sometime around age 7. Give or take a couple years. In present life, Willie looks on as Teddy continues to excel beyond him. Teddy was the one who got to go to College, despite Willie's yearnings for such. Teddy had a girlfriend, which is one of Willie's greatest desires. Their lives mirror each other: even if the mirror is distorted and sometimes broken.

So when Teddy asked me where his comforter was when he arrived home after a New Year's Eve getaway, another reason for Willie to be envious, I knew in the pit of my stomach where it had disappeared. For if your little brother's life is and continues to be so much better then yours, if he gets to do so much stuff just because he doesn't have a brain injury, if he isn't even being nice to you, what do you do? You steal his comforter and take it with you when you go back to your other home. What better way to get Teddy's goat? That cozy, blue down comforter has been on Teddy's bed for over a decade and provides warmth and comfort to Teddy as he sleeps. Willie's sixth sense guided him to grab that and try to wrap some of Teddy's good energy and non-special needs life around his troubled and splintered spirit.

I hope it worked for I am returning it to Teddy next week.