Disclaimer: I know these two young men and love them both.
Finally! The inaugural Who Lives Like This!? podcast with siblings!
Given the repeated request for a podcast with siblings, we've finally come through and are thrilled to introduce you to two stellar young men. Henry Beglinger is a native Angeleno, the middle child and younger brother to Sophie, my daughter who has a refractory seizure disorder and severe developmental disabilities. Henry has a younger brother as well, Oliver, but feels as if his position in the family is more of "oldest." He is an avid lacrosse player and attends Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington where he is majoring in political science and international relations.
Toby Okoye also attends Gonzaga where fate threw Henry and him together as friends and now roommates in probably one of the ugliest dorm rooms that I've ever seen. As you can see, they both light up the room. Toby lives with his parents and siblings in Puyallup, a small city outside of Seattle. He is the oldest of four children by six years; his younger sister and two brothers are triplets who were born prematurely and who each have autism. Some of Toby's hobbies include basketball and hanging out with his friends with whom he's become closer over the years.
As our discussion with Henry and Toby progressed, Jason and I hung back with our mouths open, stunned at the beauty and wisdom that came out of these young men. We talked about the guys' early experiences with their siblings, when they figured out that something was "different" about their siblings, and how they coped with stressful situations over the years. We hear the story of how they found each other as friends and then "found out" about one another's place in an unusual family. We even delved into the messy stuff -- the fears and worry over the future when their responsibilities will be even more profound.
We think you'll find the conversation illuminating in how it avoids cliche and centers around these siblings' particular experiences and personalities. We look forward to having more of these conversations, so please listen, share and join us! If you have a sister or brother with complex needs, let us know. We'd love for you to join the show.
Favorite Purchase/Activity that's helped with your life as a sibling:
Henry says that weight-lifting has helped him to lift his sister and feel stronger overall. Toby agreed that weight-lifting and getting strong physically was good for him, as was playing with Legos with his brothers.
Both guys said that listening to this podcast was their favorite thing. Hmmmmmm. I wonder what they both are hankering after...
Most Inspirational Person/Group
Toby and Henry are inspired by their parents. (Sigh)