They say you can’t pick your family, just your friends. When we are delivered into this world, it is out of any humans control who their family is. From there – the point of being born – to become who we ultimately design ourselves to be.

One souls destiny could be the ghettos in a third world country, fighting for a meal to share with his family. Another wins the universal lottery to be crowned prince, enjoying royal privileges unimaginable to the masses.

…..quietly, another soul, picked from the center of the eye of the one we call GOD, is the brother to the son who’s challenges in this life changes the family – forcing us to grow in directions unbeknownst to most ’till this day.

He wears it well. The full coat of responsibility for his brother. At times it weighs so heavy, this invisible leaden vest, it would crush the heart of a weaker person. We really can’t understand why, as a family, other children are allowed to tease, taunt, boldly stare, or insult another child with a difference about them. Even more confusing? To do the same to the sibling – by very virtue of a genetic link – it is the height of moral atrocity.

Our youngest is proud of his brother. We never pointed the differences out to him, he learned the differences were in others – the ones who were the most cruel. The kid in middle school who brought a walnut to class knowing full well my son was deathly allergic. The boy thought it was big fun to try and cram it in his mouth. What does my son do? He runs to his much bigger older brother. Together they jump on what some people call “The Short Bus”, you know, where the “retards and chairs” ride to and from school, making the safe exit home to sanctuary.

Later in the week, my son asks me where the justice is. Why did the little bully only get off with a warning? What are you speaking of, son? Relaying this recent past experience back to his mother with only mild details – always the one to protect others – I can only imagine the sheer terror he actually felt.

That was one remarkable phone call to the principal. “Hey Pal, you have 8 minutes if nut meat hits my son’s mouth.” Cold, calculating explaining “You better call 911, because if he shot my son with a gun, it would only be then that you have more time to save him. Concerning how much time with his nut allergy? 8 total minutes.” “We clear on the 8 minute thing?”

And his older brother? He’s the big and tall kid who hops like a bunny down the hall, you know that move, the one the kids just can’t stop laughing about? But if his older brother gets even a whiff of what is HAPPENING THERE, be aware.

Be very aware. He’s the quiet one. The one who LOVES his little brother and will think nothing of taking out the little perpetrator who’s chasing him with a walnut. “Do you understand all of this, Mr. Principal?” And know this too, he may be moderately Autistic, so it WILL be considered right now, by all parties, ABSOLUTELY appropriate to react protectively of his brother. “Let’s just make that clear, shall we?”

So, our youngest tripped back to school the next day, armed with a cell phone and the family license to protect himself. My husband showed him a certain swift and direct move to perform on another male that would immediately render them harmless – since in this case they are already stupid.

These much later days, our family is beginning to know more freedom and joy then in the past. Our youngest, always prime for an adventure, is carving out a beautiful future as a bright light, a shining example of grace and courage.

We love you, younger one. You speak quietly, with your actions, for many other brothers and sisters growing up like you…..embracing your exceptional circumstances.

“Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…”
Willie Nelson

Let them grow up to be Astronauts.
~Wendy Frye


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