Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 18

Today I am grateful for little acts of thoughtfulness.  Especially in regard to my sons.  They are identical twins.  They look very much alike.  They share most of the same interests.

They are also individuals - and many people in the world seem to forget that.

We are very used to people asking questions.  We don't mind.   It is such a unique and interesting thing.  Seeing two people who share DNA, who began life as one - and through a miracle became two - it's amazing even to me.  Unfortunately, they sometimes forget they are speaking to young people who are just beginning to understand self esteem, feel a natural competitiveness, and long to be seen for themselves, not only as half of a pair.

When people say, "Oh, he's a little  ____ (taller, faster, smarter, funnier) isn't he?  or "He looks a little _____ (shorter, heavier, shyer)." one child will inevitably feel bad.

When they ask "Who's older?", "Who's the naughty one?" , "Who's smarter" etc, their competitive nature flares.

In contrast, others go out of their way to make sure they know which boy is which, and address them by name.  They will remember the few things that are unique to each boy and make sure not to compare them.  They probably have no idea how much I appreciate it.   It doesn't seem like much from the outside looking in, but to us, it means a lot.   It is very kind and thoughtful to treat them as individual human beings, and it's important, too!  I'm grateful for anyone who recognizes that.

I'm also indebted to every person who tries to understand Asperger syndrome.  Thank you for not making us feel like social pariahs.   Your little acts of thoughtfulness, like putting your dog in the garage when we visit, not lighting candles,  listening to a mini lecture on the obsession of the day, and understanding what sensory overload is - these things  show us that you are kind, and that you care.   For this, I am so very, very grateful.

If you are grateful today, or want to read more posts like this one, visit Brenda's Blog, Garden of Learning.  The Gratitude challenge will last all month.