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Just a single mom of two small boys somewhere in the middle of Minnesota. My older son has been diagnosed with autism. Both sons have been diagnosed with awesome.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Being the Big Brother

We went to Pine Grove Zoo yesterday. It was the perfect day for it, warm but not too warm. We set out early hoping more of the animals would be awake.

Sam tried feeding the goats at the petting zoo, but only ended up feeding one. He said it was too tickley. I let them eat from my hand and he watched. And you know what? It was pretty tickley.  Sam really liked thus angora rabbit that never seemed to move. It was cute, like a anthropomorphized dust bunny.

Max didn't want anything to do with the goats. I was hoping he would try because he fed deer on a school field trip, but I didn't push it. .

Allison (my niece) fed them no problem!

I got Max to feed a white calf by putting the feed on the fence. The calf licked it all off the fence quite easily. Max thought that was funny until  the calf thanked him by licking him with his very long, very wet tongue. Max did not like that one bit! He stayed calm, but was done with the petting zoo after that. 

Sam and Allie loved the tortoises, but I'm not sure if Max even noticed them. The big cats were mostly asleep. The bobcats were a little more lively. Allie wanted to bring one home. I did my best to explain why they wouldn't make good pets. 

Max didn't seem all that interested in any of the animals... until we got to the bears! He said, "I can see the bears! Let's count them!" The baby bears were playing in the water, and chasing each other around, but Max spent just as much time looking in at the older, quieter bears in their enclosure.  He pranced from the baby bears to the grown up bears, and back again. He alternated between counting them and saying, "I can see the bears!"

Sam said the rabbit was his favorite animal, but his favorite part of the zoo was the red wagon.

The wagons the zoo had available to borrow looked just like the wagon we have at home. When Max saw them he climbed right in one. 

Sam and Allison grabbed the handle and started pulling the wagon. I figured they'd get tired of that pretty fast. 

Allie pulled for a while, but Sam never stopped. 

He pulled Max in that wagon from exhibit to exhibit the whole time. At first Sam didn't want me to help at all. In end he relented and let me help, but only uphill. We got some odd looks. I guess people were a little surprised to see a 3 year old pulling a 7 year old.

I  can already see, in small ways, Sam taking up the role of "Big Brother" to Max..

I can also see the beginning of a balancing act. Sam seems proud and happy that he can help Max, but I don't want Sam to grow up feeling burdened by his big brother.

And I love it when they act 'like brothers' even if it isn't in the most typical of ways. 

Because above all else, brothers is what they are.

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