My Sister Rachel (Part 3): Quirks

This is part 3 of a series describing my experience of growing up with a sister who has autism. If you missed them, you can go back and read parts 1 and 2. 

If you’ve followed me in the past year or so, you know that I am a BIG My Hero Academia fan. When I thought about what to title this post, I kept coming back to the word “quirk.” In MHA, quirks are superpowers, so when a person’s “quirk” manifests, it could be something like super strength or the ability to manipulate water or fire.

All of us have our own quirks – not superpowers, but idiosyncrasies. Often when we think of the term “quirks,” it brings with it a connotation of something weird or undesirable. I like the reframe that MHA provides, to look at quirks as a unique part of your personality, and something that could even be considered a superpower.

Rachel had quite a few quirks – some that have stayed consistent through most of her life, and others that seemed to have come and gone.

From a very young age I can remember my mom cutting out the tags in all of her shirts and pants. Following this same vein, if a piece of clothing had a string loose, that was something that would immediately need to be taken care of. Rule #23: tags and strings on clothes must be removed at all costs. If we didn’t get to it in time, Rachel would have pulled it (and possibly unraveled much of the item) on her own. Rachel was not the most careful or gentle in her actions, so her pulling a tag or string off could result in a giant hole in the garment in question.

In general, Rachel had her own ideas about what she deemed out of place in the world. And if something didn’t look right to her, by golly she was going to fix it.

One time when I was a freshman in high school, I had gotten my hair cut in shorter layers (above the shoulders) and parts of my hair flipped out here and there. I was in the bathroom (Rachel and I shared a bathroom) finishing up my hair and makeup, and I noticed that Rachel had walked in with a pair of scissors and was coming straight towards me. RULE #52: IF SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE FIXED, FIX IT. I got the scissors out of her hands in time, but I’m 99% sure that she was going to “fix” the parts of my hair that she felt flipped out to the sides a little too much.

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