It’s well known that siblings of special needs kids have it hard. They miss out on time with Mom and Dad, things they want to do, etc. Some siblings do well with this and some don’t.
Siblings Are Lifelong Friends.. Right?
My sons have been close since day one. I’m not sure Cameron remembers anything without Julian because they are 18 months and 2 weeks apart. Over time, they’ve become each other’s best friends. Lily and Cameron can’t stand each other most of the time but Lily and Julian get along well most of the time. They are 18 months and one day apart. (This timing though…sigh)
They have watched Julian’s many meltdowns, missed out on many afternoons with me while I took him to therapy, patiently waited for dinner while I dealt with Julian. This list gets quite exhaustive. They haven’t always been perfect angels throughout the years with Julian, but I can proudly say they have gained a lot of patience.
Today’s post is for them. It’s an open letter to them for being loving, patient and most of all, accepting of their brother. Not all siblings are.
Cameron and Lily,
I know it’s not always easy having Julian around. He’s been in the spotlight a lot for a good chunk of your lives. He just needed a lot of my energy and brainpower.
That doesn’t mean I love either of you any less. Please don’t think this for one second. It would break me if you did. You two have silently watched as Julian threw toys, screamed and hit me. At one point, you were too afraid to play with him.
As things changed for the better, you realized he was getting himself into a different mindset and he wasn’t so mean. So aggressive. Now he’s goofy and a lot more fun to be around. Julian still has his quirks and gets on your nerves but the two of you have learned to accept them. I wouldn’t let you not accept him.
He is your brother and lifelong friend. He may or may not always be able to defend himself and that is where you come in. Somewhere along the way, Cameron, you have helped Julian make friends. You have helped defend him when he needed it. Lily, this isn’t your arena, but caring about your brother deeply is. You know he doesn’t do hugs but you help make sure he’s okay. You give him space, play with him and just let him be.
Julian is a lucky kid. All three of you are. You may not realize it now, but having a brother with special needs has made you more empathetic, caring and sensitive people. You’re more willing to help others. I’m sure you’ll see this one day.
Me? I’m a very lucky mom. I hit the jackpot on the day that each of you were born.
Love you. I’ll always have your back, everywhere you’ll ever look.