If Ethan is my boy of the abyss, an unlimited expanse of energy and discovery, his brother Noah is my rock.

A surprise arrival fifteen months after Ethan, stocky in build and always physically warm, Noah now stands an inch taller than his petite, boney, cold older brother. Noah exudes natural ease against the angular awkwardness of Ethan.

Noah the veteran-at-heart, though in no way hostile, is drawn to history and war stories. (on the other hand/in stark contrast to Ethan…) One alarming visit to the museum was the darned WWII memorial. Noah, running through the tunnel, Ethan stopped in his tracks as though a force field held his body in frozen suspension. When he had collected himself, Ethan sat at the edge of the wall at the entrance and protectively clung to his own being…. War, death, grief…had no place near his vessel of incorruptible love.

But for Noah, the great wars echo his strength of mateship, stewardship, voluntary participation, bravery and manhood. In his first grade class a fight once broke out, involving one of his friends, to which he instinctively jumped into rescue, frightening himself and crying in shock.

image credit: Joanna Wharton

Together in their play and precious common love for art, Ethan fills a canvas, colour bold and paint abundant; Noah is refined, his lines detailed and palate soft.

Cunningly they have become aware of each others strengths. Noah likes to make use of Ethan’s physical strength for projects, and his charms to get things out of people. Ethan is all too aware of Noah’s cool in a situation.

Naturally mature and intuitive, he is often referred to as an ‘old soul’ and alpha male. Those intricate internal emotions make Noah vulnerable to displacement and loneliness with a small and isolated family unit and he grapples with his personal experiences, embarrassment of his brother’s meltdowns and health issues.

Image credit: Joanna Wharton

He is coming to terms with Ethan’s quirky behaviours and engagement with people, feeling the full brunt of being jumped on, squeezed, pinched, scratched – where the abuser does not punish, and learning to not provoke his brother, despite knowing his trigger too well.

A monumental moment occurred recently in public when Ethan was being quirky (nothing that needed correcting). Noah turned to the adult watching and said “he has Asperger’s”.

That, for Noah, was a breakthrough moment, to gauge the situation and use his voice, where in incidences gone by he would rather cower behind me, wanting to throw up in embarrassment.

Establishing Noah’s self esteem and independence has been just as difficult and carefully executed as it has been for Ethan. I seek to maintain their common ground and find their complimenting strengths by using my favourite tool of a good book that can explore emotion, journeys and resolution.

 My compass, my morning birdsong. You have a deep wellspring which has flowed since birth….do not be afraid reveal your beauty from the deep. 

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

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