As some of you may know, my youngest sister Rebekah has Downs Syndrome. She is sweet, bright, funny, loving, and unfettered by the things the rest of us constantly struggle with in all the ways one would expect a kid with Downs to be. She’s also amazingly like all the rest of my family in ways that are almost primal versions of the rest of our habits.
I realized this in poignant detail a few weeks ago when my mom made an offhand comment the last time Rebekah stayed with us. Rebekah was going on about some thing she had once done with my wife–years ago, in fact–and my mom rolled her eyes and said something about how Rebekah never forgets anything she has ever done.
A few evenings later found my wife and me eating at a particular Steak and Shake on our way home from somewhere and it hit me. I remember, almost with exacting detail, every time I’ve ever eaten at that particular Steak and Shake since the company first built a restaurant at that location. I remember how many times it was just me. I remember how many times it was my wife and me. I remember the couple of times it was me with friends.
To drive the point home, I realized today that Rebekah and I share another trait. She loves to listen to the songs she loves (and watch the movies and TV shows she loves) over and over and over again. She knows all the words already, but that doesn’t matter, she listens anyway because she really loves them.
The other day, I heard a song for the first time that I absolutely adore. Over the past several days, I’ve probably listened to that song a few dozen times, including four times today. I will probably continue to do so for the next several days until the newness finally fades, but months and years from now I will return to that same obsession with the same intensity.
And they call us the typical ones.
All I can say is that I am glad I have my little sister to show me such an honest reflection of myself. I love her that much more for it.