My “little” Brother

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additional needs, down syndrome, down's syndrome, equality, Uncategorized

My “little” brother….

After a fabulous and, dare i say it, easy start back to school last week we seem to have hit a few challenges in our second week with Seb. By contrast his little brother has breezed in and out with complete ease.

I was expecting it. I knew the new “life” in juniors was a novelty and, like starting a new job, the first few days are all about finding the stationery cupboard, getting used to your new surroundings, making pleasantries with your new colleagues – all with a boundless enthusiasm and focused mind.

My boys are very close. They always have been. There’s a 2.5 year age gap so, all things considered, they are also very close in age. They’ve just spent the last 6 weeks playing together, laughing together, travelling together and up to mischief together, with minimal squabbling.

Over the summer holidays we made quite a fuss about the fact that Dominic was starting school. He is often overlooked so we wanted to make a big deal, as parents generally do, but also to make Seb feel important too – making it an exciting event for both of them. I thought we were empowering Seb with showing his brother the ropes, telling him that he will have to look out for him and help him out if necessary.

On Monday we walked to school. The timings are staggered so that Seb goes into class first and then his brother is dropped off to the other side of the school. All seemed well and I selfishly enjoyed the 15 minutes of playtime without having to watch Seb like a hawk.

But apparently half way through the morning Seb seemed sad and upset.

“I miss my brother” he said to his TA with a wobbly lip.

“I want to see my brother” he continued

He went on to ask if he could see him in assembly – which he couldn’t as they have them at different times. “I’ll see him at lunchtime though!” he added, hopefully. But alas, no, they have different lunch times too.

And he started to get upset and tearful.

His kind TA came up with a plan to print something off and take Seb with her to collect and pay a quick visit to his brother. It seemed to work and it cheered him up, but we have since had problems at drop off as he wants to stay with his brother and gets quite upset when we try to leave.

I feel a bit sad today trying to understand what might be going on in seb’s mind.

His little brother is a secure and constant figure in his life, someone who understands what he is saying and feeling (sometimes better than me). Someone who accepts his quirks, doesn’t get thrown by his behaviour and, sometimes irritating, ways of playing. So I imagine Seb is probably yearning for his sibling in his new surroundings, with his new classmates (the classes are different every year and is half made up of children in the year above). Especially after 6 weeks in each other’s pockets and a promise from me that Dominic would be at school with him this year.

I am always so touched by their closeness and how much their really care for each other, but this week, just like last week, has really highlighted how much more dependant Seb is on his little brother than the other, more usual way round.

And I know it will always be this way…..

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