I grew up with two younger brothers, when they were babies I adored them, tried to "mother" them and take care of them. As we grew older, we just grew closer and closer. I can't even imagine what having a sister would be like because the bond with my brothers is immeasurable and I see the same thing right in front of my eyes on a daily basis with my own two children.
I remember one day when we were in the grocery store getting ready to check out and the cashier said hi to both of my children. When Big Brother C didn't respond, my daughter piped up and said "Hi, he's my brother but he doesn't talk like I do. So I'm going to talk for him." At that moment, I didn't know what to say or how to respond, all I could do was smile and nod my head. That started the beginning of her "big sister act", and she has no problem telling anyone and everyone that my son is her big brother and that he doesn't speak.
I've never explained Autism to my daughter, she knows her big brother is different in some ways but she can't pin point it just yet. From the day she was born, I introduced her to Big Brother C just like I would with anyone else. As the years went on, she learned that he was her big brother - they played but not really together, he communicated with her but not so much words and yet they showed loved to each other every single day.
Little Sister C tries to "mother" Big Brother C, she helps him with various things, she does sign language with him, encourages him, sings to him when he's sad, hugs him when she misses him and constantly tells him she loves him. When he's getting ready to get out of the truck for school they exchange high-fives and at night after story time, she tells him that she loves him and to have sweet dreams.
I see the way she looks at him, but I also see the way he looks at her. It's that sibling look, he looks at her with love, comfort, security and happiness. I know that my son loves his little sister, even if he can't say it. He doesn't need words to be able to express that he loves her or me, I see it on a daily basis.
My children are amazing kids, they may not always get along but they make me so proud to call them my own. My hope for them is that they will continue to strengthen their bond as they grow older into young adults and for the rest of their lives. I hope they become the best friends and can lean on each other through thick and thin just as I've done with my younger brothers.