yellow birdhouse with a small yellow bird flying towards it

If your relationship is making both of you happier, then why is it wrong to need each other? How did independence become the mark of a “healthy” human, when our species literally only got this far through social cooperation?

My brother has higher support needs than me — he lives with my parents, and they worry about what will happen to him when they’re gone. It’s the biggest fear for most parents of autistic people, and I suspect a huge driver of the Autism Mom obsession with cure (something my own mother, thankfully, never bought into).

I don’t worry about him though, because the answer has always been obvious to me. My brother and I will grow old together, tinkering with train sets and watching our birdhouses through binoculars.

He is a part of every long-term plan for my life I’ve ever had, ones that will include an expansive, chosen family, that will look different to the American nuclear ideal. I don’t expect him to learn how to live alone, and I don’t expect that for myself anymore either.

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