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My daughter is the best person I know. She is made of sparkles and sunshine. She is kind and caring and loving, and she’s so incredibly special. She sees people. She’s sensitive, and sensitive to those around her.

She sees her brothers. She plays with them. She makes them laugh. She leads, and a good amount of the time, they follow. They are a team in the best ways they could be.

Lauren wrote a story at school. She had to come up with characters and a plot and weave all the components of a story together to tell the tale she wanted.

In her story, Princess Lauren is locked in a tower by an evil king. In this story, Princess Lauren needs a hero. Of all the people she knows, she picked a hero who would do anything for her. She picked Ethan. Well, she actually picked Prince Ethan.

Why is that important?

It’s important because Lauren doesn’t see Ethan as her little brother who has autism. Lauren sees Ethan for all that he is. He is her friend. He is someone she can trust. He loves her, and he would do anything for his sister. She knows that. She sees him for all that he really is.

In her story, her brother is the hero. He kills the evil king and put his body in water- which is more violence than I expected, but he stopped the threat to his sister and then made sure he couldn’t get to them. He defeated evil. He risked everything in the way every true hero does.

After the defeat of the evil king, Prince Ethan rescues Princess Lauren. They go home where King Daddy, Queen Mommy, and Prince Joshua are waiting for them. They have dinner as a family, and everyone goes to bed safely (after brushing their teeth). They are all together and happy.

Here’s something you may not know about me. I worry about what will happen to my kids when Rob and I are no longer alive. I worry about what Ethan might need and who will help him. I worry about whether or not they will always love each other like they do now. Not all siblings do.

Moments like these allow me to let go of my worry a little. Moments like these remind me of the times I see my kids becoming best friends. Moments like these let me know that they can always be a team that vanquishes anything they come up against. In all the adventures that await them, I know they’ll get through them all. Together.

It’s a real weight to wonder and worry about life after you’re gone to make it good and right and safe for your babies.

If you know someone who has a child with exceptionalities and challenges, would you do something for me? Be their friend. They need people. It all can feel so isolating and lonely. It all can feel so impossible. Take them for a cup of coffee. Send them a text to see how they’re doing.

They may just be waiting to tell someone about why they cried today or about the story their daughter brought home from school that filled them up. Either way, they need the support of not feeling alone in it. For all the friends who do this for me all the time, thank you.