I hear Elizabeth ask Michael a question about something,

I hear Michael answer,“I don’t know Elizabeth, I think that it was the other day.”

I hear Elizabeth say something else, then I hear both of them laugh.

This got me thinking about the close relationship that Michael has with Elizabeth.

I started thinking about this wonderful little man and I wanted to get his opinion on some key issues about life with Elizabeth.

So I asked Michael if I could interview him for this blog, to which her responded  “Mom?!!?  YES!”

So here he is, fresh from his latest win on the basketball court.

Me:  “So Michael, how old are you now?”

MG:  “ Mooooommm…really?”

For the record he is 11 years old.

Me:  “Michael is was fun to hear you and Elizabeth laughing tonight, It made me want to ask you, what does it feel like to have a sister with special needs?”

MG:  “Mom, I feel honored to experience this unique person.  Elizabeth is a fun person and I want everyone to know that.”

I told him that he talks as if he was much older than his actual years, to which he smiled.

Me: “Speaking of which, what do you wish everyone could know about Elizabeth, other than that she is fun?

MG:  “I want everyone to know that she is not different, she is exactly the same as everyone else.  I mean, I know she has special needs, but she is just like other people.  I think there should not be any stereotypes.  She should not be grouped away because of her special needs.

I told him how much I loved him and how proud I am of him.

Me;  “I know that at times Elizabeth’s special needs are challenging to me and Dad. How do you feel when she is upset or anxious?”

MG: “I can handle her moods, because I know she is struggling hard but it does make me feel frustrated to watch her work so hard.  And it does make me anxious or makes my anxiety get high.”

I told him how much he means to his sister, that their friendship helps her so much.

Me:  “Speaking of friendships, Michael, is there anything you want our readers to know about your relationship with your sister?

MG:  “That sometimes I get sad because it is hard for Elizabeth to tell me everything she wants to or to tell me exactly how she is feeling about things, like I can.”

I went on to tell him he is quite a sensitive and insightful 11 year old.

Me:  “You know Michael, that there are many children your age who have sisters or brothers like Elizabeth.  As well as many who have sibling with other disorders…So with that thought in mind, tell me the advice you might have for others who have a sibling with special needs.”

MG:  “I want to tell them to show affection to them because they need it.  Even is they many not show it to you or cannot show it to you.  It matters because they will feel loved.”  “Mom, I love her.”

I hugged my little man so tight at this point.

I was quite moved by his words, I mean, I know he is such a tender hearted little man, but to hear his answers while looking into his big brown eyes, makes it hit my heart just that much more.

Siblings, like Michael, are affected by the “Elizabeth’s” in their lives. This is my opinion.

It simply cannot be helped.  Again, my opinion.

But how they react and feel and is something that can be. Again,  opinion here.

I feel so strongly that how we talk to the Michaels of the world, how we offer them explanations or offer them hope for their sibling can help them so much as they are on their own unique sibling journey.

Sometimes it is even as simple as giving them a voice, the chance to tell you how they really feel is sometimes all they need.

I love that Michael is the boy who befriends those in his class who need a friend, or the boy who says the kind word to the boy in his class who just had a meltdown.  I am proud beyond words that this is Michael.

But it is also because of the gift that Elizabeth is.  Having a sister like Elizabeth has helped Michael to be the young man he is.

I thanked Michael for his time, he smiled at me and at that moment I simply gave thanks.

I wish you all a peaceful week.