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Without kids, this is how I learned the parent/kid bond

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/01/24

I’m going to reply in English as (see profile) right now too little energy to do this in proper German. Sorry for that.

Some 20 years ago, we brought my mentally retarded brother to a winter holiday where we could stay at my best friends place 30 minutes eastward of Bern.

We don’t have kids, but I’ve known since I was 10 that someday I would become responsible for him. So he has been our “big kid” for quite some time now.

By now we know a bit more about his level (IQ slightly less than 50, mental age about 36 months), than we knew back then.

So indeed he is a kid in a grown up body, sometimes with remarkable consciousness (he immediately related my intestine problems with what my mom had in the early 1990s).

I digressed (I’m autistic, similar to him), so back to winter holiday early 2000.

One day we decided to go sledging with all of us near Interlaken.

My best friend went down hill on his sledge first followed by (now) my Eega, then my brother, and finally me.

By now we know that somehow we both have a habit of “things happening to us”.

On a wider part of the slope, I slowly overtook my brother, and while looking backwards, I saw him trip over, so I immediately stopped, yelled for Eega and friend, and walked back to my brother.

He was crying, not from being startled, but from pain.

That was unusual, as his pain barrier is way higher than mine, where I’m like a baby, and he’s like a warrior.

He could not stand up, and barely sit, so we improvised a way to get him further down hill towards the car and finally succeeded.

So we managed to get him to the car, and drive him to the Spital Interlaken.

Since he speaks no German, I was his translator (I was not yet custodian, that’s another sad story maybe for another day).

They X-rayed his spine, but the results were inconclusive.

So they wanted to keep him overnight. I was OK with that, so I made some phone calls (this was the era where international GSM phone calls went by the second) to both my parents and the health insurance company so neither would be unprepared.

Then I discussed with the hospital staff what to do about the night as he would not be able to properly communicate (both from a language and a mental level).

They managed to arrange an extra bed – a real bed, somewhere in between an emergency bed and a hospital bed.

Of course we had slept next to each other before, but this time it was so different.

Somehow by instinct, every time he whimpered, moved, or even changed his breathing rhythm, I woke up and checked him out, then fell asleep again.

I learned the parent/kid bond that night.

end/

–jeroen


Via https://twitter.com/jpluimers/status/1334175747381006337

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