After my last Roses post, the video games sort of went downhill. Gracie wasn’t winning. She’s usually all right when she loses, and in fact I believe when it comes to the Mario Brothers she expects it. If she wins it’s a happy surprise.
A little while ago, she lost playing Mario Party with Anna and she was heartbroken. The poor girl didn’t have enough coins. It happens. Except this time the tears wouldn’t stop and escalated to anger. In fact, she threw a little tantrum. Now, she directed her anger at the game so I was proud of her for that. She used her DS Lite to text something along the lines of, “I hate this game, it’s stupid, it’s mean” and then she stated it out loud to tell me what she said “to the game.” Anna understood that Gracie was upset with the game and not her for winning.
However, Anna was upset that Gracie was upset and crying.
“Please, Gracie, don’t cry. When you cry it makes me cries. When you’re sad, I’m sad too. I’m sorry I won but you’re just not good at the game!”
“I know!” ::fresh tears::
Gracie calmed down playing another game, but she was quiet. I let her have some of my (made with lactose-free milk) iced chai tea and reassured her that she would have plenty of fun today. I told her that I was proud of her for using her words and not hitting, and for not being mean to her sister while being angry. I asked her if she needed a tissue, but she ignored me. Okay, fine, nonverbal it is.
Then a few minutes ago she was sitting in the rocking chair while Anna was sitting next to her on the floor. Both were playing on their own separate DS Lites. Gracie was crying but trying not to show it. I asked her what was wrong. She again told me what she did, what she had said, but cried that she felt bad for having sent the text to her sister. She asked for help apologizing to Anna, who immediately said, “I forgive you Gracie. I love you. You’re my sister” and then hugged her. Gracie held her in the sweetest hug, gentle and not very tight, but so sisterly and kind with tears in her eyes and happy that her little sister forgave her. Oh, I’m teary-eyed just thinking about it.
Just as strongly as she felt anger and disappointment in losing the game, she felt bad and sorry for the chance that she hurt her little sister when she lashed out “at the game.” She felt badly for using strong and hurtful words and that her little sister might have taken the words personally because they were sent by text to her little sister’s DS Lite and spoken out loud.
Now they’re being silly in the sun room and they can’t stop laughing. They’re laughing so hard that they can’t talk properly. Anna knows exactly how to make Gracie brighten up and smile. Like drawing an F Bomb. Literally drawing a bomb and then writing an F in the middle of it on the drawing tablet. That girl went from nonverbal to choking through a tearful apology to giggles and laughter and being a chatterbox in twenty minutes.
The power of a sisterly relationship simply amazes me.
That’s what sisterhood does for Autism.