Christiana & Harriet Redman blog at sayhelloyellow and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Say Hello, Yellow! on Twitter (@helloyellowblog) and “Like” the blog on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sayhelloyellow.
We’re mother and daughter. We argue. We laugh. We fight. We love. We are each others’ best friends and biggest critics. It is probably no surprise that we often have different perspectives. For example, our thoughts are drastically different about what it was like in our house from about 1993 on. There was me: kind, pretentious, curious, and sassy. Then there was Phillip: jolly, patient, sweet, and also diagnosed with a variety of developmental disabilities.
If you ask me, I’ll say my childhood was normal. We built leaf piles when the leaves turned, ate dinners out on Friday nights, played sports in the yard, and watched movies together. I have vivid memories of having “dates” with each of my parents. My brother and I played together, just like any “normal” siblings would.
If you ask my mom, she’d say my childhood was anything but typical. She’d point out that there was only one child jumping in the leaf pile (me). Dinners out took coordination for Phillip’s needs that my 6 year old self didn’t understand. Our family’s version of playing sports together included a cushy ball thrown with a gentle toss, not competitiveness and rough-and-tumble play. We watched movies together during Sunday night picnic dinners on the living room floor because it was a good way to make everyone happy. Our daddy-daughter and mommy-daughter dates were a result of my parents wanting to be sure I felt loved and attended to, since Phillip often got the attention automatically. Playing together meant me showing Phillip over and over how to pour pasta and rice into a quasi-sensory Rubbermaid tub using a plastic cup, not playing checkers and Monopoly.
As I get older, I am realizing more and more the ways in which my childhood was unique, and even more strikingly, the way sibling and parent perspectives are uniquely different. These differences are not inherently bad, just different. It is these realizations that have inspired us to start Say Hello, Yellow! and share our experiences with others who can relate. If you’re one of those people, we hope to see you at www.sayhelloyellow.com.