We have two lovely nephews, 7 & 5 years old. Now I must admit that I spent much more time with the older of the two in his first years of life. In my own defense, I was single at the time, lived 2 minutes away from my sister, and her home always had a wide variety and abundance of food available. Since I was in my 2nd year of university, you can understand why the food part was important. Thanks, sis! Point being, I feel like I know much more of L's personality, his passions (art, animals, advanced vocabulary etc), and what makes him tick.
So, it is always a pleasure to spend a little quality time with the younger of the two when I have a chance. Recently I had such opportunities thanks to maternity leave. Now, its probably worth mentioning that K, the 5 year old, is autistic. I have the utmost admiration for my sister and her family for advocating up the wazoo for this kidlet. Yes, Alberta is definitely the place to be for services but you still have to put tons of energy into obtaining the best situation possible for your child.
K thrives on routine and repetition which makes sense considering his diagnosis. For example, he has some consistent favourite things in life - his parents, his brother, my mom (Oma), his room, anything dangerous, a kitten named Rocket, and a select few dance tunes to name just a few. He has a few things he cannot stand: the framed picture in our basement stairwell, the library, L's hockey games, and barking dogs top the list. He likes to talk with a loud volume level which I love - each and every word he utters seems miraculous considering how hard he, his parents, therapists and caregivers worked to help him find his voice and the words to communicate in that voice. I take great delight in his "sayings" and here are my two recent favourite "K quotes."
1. On Halloween, when uttering the traditional "treat or trick" he added "I can't have chocolate!" This certainly left homeowners at a loss for words. He had nothing to worry about - his smart mommy traded chocolate for gummy candy at the end of the evening.
2. When seeing Little Caesar's pizza on his brother's plate - "that pizza makes me sick. I not eat it." He then happily munches on his gluten free/dairy free/nut free/chocolate free bread with special margarine and brown sugar.
I've always loved being an Auntie to these 2 boys. I hope I will honour the role and welcome our siblings into our children's lives the same way my sister has for me (& in the last years, Jared too)!