Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Doesn't Have To Be The Loneliest Number

(a recent conversation with my parents)
Dad: "When are you going to give Norrin a brother or sister?  You're not getting any younger."  
Me: "It's not that easy..."

Mom: "Ay please, at her age - she might as well forget it.

Before The Boy was born, I had never given thought to having children. 

Seconds after The Boy was born, I was immediately asked, "So...when are you having another one?" 

And on the day The Boy's was diagnosed, the doctor warned me that I was more likely to have another child with autism.  But friends, family and therapists insisted that The Boy really needed a sibling more than ever.  

If it were up to The Husband, we'd have an apartment full of babies.  The Husband is 1 of 7.  And all of his siblings have 3 or more kids.  And some of those kids have kids.  (Clearly, I am the weakest link in the fertility department.) 

And after my miscarriage, it's been difficult.  And with every month that passes, the more accepting I become.  I will probably never have another child. 

Most days, I try not to think about it.  But it's pretty tough when I read other special needs parent blogs and the focus is sibling relationships. 

I always wonder - what kind of big brother would The Boy be?  How would a 2nd child change the dynamic of our family?  Is The Boy missing out on something?  Am I? 

And these 'what if' moments make me reflect on my own sibling relationships.  I'm 1 of 3 and we're not close. And as for The Husband's relationship with his siblings...let's just say that the holidays came and went without any phone calls. 

Sibling relationships can go either way - I have friends who consider their siblings their very best friend.  But I also know siblings who have gone years without speaking.

When you have more than one kid, you just never know what their relationship will be like.  You can try your best to make them close but it's a gamble, like anything else.  

This is what I tell myself whenever I feel guilty about The Boy being an only child.

While The Husband and I may not have the ideal sibling relationships, we are lucky to have formed friendships to fulfill the sibling role.    

I would love nothing more than to have another baby, to give The Boy the opportunity to develop a relationship with a sibling.  But if that doesn't happen, that's okay too. 

The Boy will be fine as an only child.  He doesn't need to have a brother or sister to be close to someone.  And The Boy will not have to be alone if he does not want to be. 

Just as the The Husband and I learned to form friendships and adopt them as our "brothers" and "sisters," The Boy can do the same.  We can teach The Boy pick a good friend and to be a good friend.  Even if it's just to one other person.  That's all The Boy needs. 


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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.