Today my brother and sister-in-law came over for a picnic in the park with Tyler, one of my closest friends, Francesca (not her real name) and I. An outing with my brother and his wife is always very interesting because the two of them both have Asperger’s Syndrome and she also is mentally retarded. Asperger’s is a kind of high functioning Autism. It’s a bit like having “no filter” and my sister-in-law just says what’s on her mind, which many times, isn’t very nice. The two also often talk non-stop about completely unrelated subjects and can be hard to follow. Sometimes I wonder how they can have a conversation with themselves. But over the years, I have come to accept her; my brother’s just always been my brother. I realize that they are Tyler’s aunt and uncle and they need to be with each other, no matter how uncomfortable it can get for me. I know at some point I will have to explain to Tyler why they are a bit different, but right now he just looks at them like any member of his family.
My legs felt very weak today but my pain wasn’t too bad. We got our picnic lunch courtesy of Wawa and headed to one of our many local parks. The weather wasn’t too hot at all, in fact was a bit cool when the sun went in and no rain, thank goodness. My brother and sister-in-law played with Tyler on the jungle gym and pushed him on the swings, which are things I no longer can do. It makes me feel good at least that Tyler can get out, get some fresh air and have some fun. There was even a local highschool baseball game going on that I was able to walk over to and watch with Tyler. His first baseball game.
When we drove back home we said our goodbyes. Then, Tyler realized that that wasn’t enough for him and he ran down the stairs. I am begging him to slow down because I cannot keep up with him and Francesca was loaded down with our picnic stuff. My brother and his wife were already starting up the car. We flagged them down. Tyler wanted big hugs from both of them. My brother grabbed him and swung him up in his arms and Tyler was laughing. My brother had such a look of pure joy on his face that it brought tears to my eyes.
Afterwards, Tyler said he was “sad”. I told him that he could call them whenever he wanted. I am really going to try to make it a point to see them about once a month. We are planning on moving sooner or later and then visits will be few and far between. I want Tyler to really know my brother. Today was a good start.