Black and White

My oldest son interprets everything on a straightforward level.   There is no gray area for him.  When I told him about his great-grandmother passing away, he said, “I am not surprised.  She was ready,”. Which undoubtedly was true, but most people wouldn’t say that.  Most would belabor the issue and rehash her legacy.   For Bailey, that extra chromosome gives him a deeper understanding I suppose or a no-nonsense approach.  I don’t know why I continue to be surprised, but I do.

On Friday, we picked up Bryce from his retreat.   There has always been an underlying current with his relationship with his brother.  Bailey’s level of tolerance for people is higher than most, but Bryce has never hidden the feeling of not being enough in the shadow of his brother with Down syndrome.    A feeling that we have validated over and over.   Unfortunately, our reality is that Bailey will always require more of us.   With that being said, at dinner, Bryce made a tearful amends to his brother.   Now, if you know Bailey, the only time he is not interested in conversation is when there is food involved.  So imagine my youngest crying and offering amends while my oldest is focused on seeing how many rolls he can fit into his mouth.    I think Bailey might have offered a thumbs up in answering his request to start their relationship over, but that is all the attention the amends received.

Bailey’s honest approach has always fascinated me.   Aside from when he was younger and often sick, I don’t think I have experienced true sadness from him.  He accepts life on life’s terms.  He isn’t overthinking the joy out of everything.  He hardly worries and he lives his life with a positive outlook.    I want to be him when I grow up.

There are moments where I wonder if he feels anything else.   Sometimes he isn’t exactly kind or compassionate when someone is displaying emotion.  Perhaps it makes him uncomfortable.   When I cry, he rolls his eyes and says, “Here we go again,” with an exasperated tone.

The reality is that both of my boys feel their emotions on different levels.  It is their own personal process.   Who am I to question that or wonder why they don’t feel the way I do?    I have to remember that everyone navigates their feelings differently for some and simple thumbs up is the way to go.

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