This week Joe became an Uncle as my beautiful son Oliver was born. 
Over the past few months Joe has found it difficult to comprehend that there was another life in my wife’s tummy and soon there would be a tiny baby. I don’t think any amount of prior discussion could have prepared Joe for what has happened this week. 
It is hard to know what Joe thinks about his new nephew. It would be unfair to assume how he feels. When Joe has met Oliver he has been quiet and unsure what to make of him. A lot of children with Global Developmental Delay struggle to comprehend change. A change of this enormity is obviously gigantic in Joe’s mind. 
When I feel unnerved or ‘put out’ by something I am able to communicate my feelings. I can do this both verbally and/or physically. This week Joe has not been able to verbally articulate how he feels. Therefore we must go on his physical communication. 
Joe was very pleased when Oliver had been to the shops and bought him some finger puppets. As I have previously said, Joe loves role play and so mini finger-sized characters are just perfect for him to recreate a scenario of his choosing. The fact that Joe believes a five day old baby went out and bought them for him is beautiful. 
With Joe’s uncertainty has come some thoughts of concern from me. I wonder if I should have helped prepare Joe more for this event. I have spent time discussing with Joe what changes would occur and that he is still incredibly loved and welcome at our house. This strategy is called a ‘social story’ and their use can be found easily on the internet. Joe has been able to come to terms with what having a baby nephew will be like. However, no amount of preparation can prepare him for the real thing even if he did turn up to the hospital in a t-shirt that said ‘I’m Uncle Joe’.
When I consider how I feel about Joe and Oliver I can draw similarities. I feel enormous love for both of them. My heart melts when I see them together.
As much as I would love to see Joe and Oliver mix there is no getting away from the fact that Joe is happy in his own company. Joe spent a long time this evening playing with four plastic poles. He connected them, put a duster on the end of them and used it to clean. This is typical Joe. As the rest of his family mixed and discussed Oliver he was alone dusting the ceiling. 
I am not arrogant enough to say that I know how Joe is feeling all of the time. I am not sure Joe knows how he feels some of the time. Joe is one of life’s great thinkers. 
Over the past few weeks a thousand people have viewed our blog. It is so refreshing to be able to describe the love I have for Joe and also some of the attributes that make him so unique. Joe’s perception of a thousand people is somewhat ‘off the mark’ as he wanted to invite everyone for tea. I am not sure if his parents would be too keen on that. 
My last thought is that if our friendship makes you think then please feel free to share our posts with the wider community. It is only by educating more people about how people such as Joe think or feel, that our society can become more tolerant to those that think outside the norm. 
Now enough of the deep-feeling, pass me the nappies…

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3 thoughts on “Uncle Joey

  1. What a lovely story, Julie sent me some pics of your beautiful baby boy Oliver, I’m sure joe will take it all in his stride, loved his uncle joe t.shirt, an amazing little boy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I meet joe on holiday in menorca and well what can I say he’s a lovely boy and well done to al of u for what u do and ur mum and dad r fab to .keep bein the super star u r Joe i love looken on ur mums Facebook to c what he is up to next and there adventures joe does love his holidays x

    Liked by 1 person

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