Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Other Sibling

This past weekend we went to dinner with some friends and met some new ones along the way. There were two other moms there in particular who I spent most of the dinner talking with. One of the moms had a son who beat cancer and the other mom has a sibling with special needs.

I haven't really talked to a peer who has a sibling with special needs. This has been her whole life, she was 4 and he was 2 when an accident happened that put her brother in the "special needs" category.

I have wondered now for a long time what that's like, to be the sibling. To be "the normal" or "the other" kid. I have many fears about both my kids childhood and what it will look like, how they will treat each other, how others will treat them.

It's soul crushing to feel like maybe you're not going to be as good of a mom to both kids simply because one has extra needs. Or that the "normal" one will feel slighted or not as loved. Quinn came into the world in a very special and unique way with the help of science, that compiled with everything she will do for and with her brother create some complex issues. Maybe they are issues that reside only in my head and will never come to fruition.

Maybe they will come to fruition, but once Quinn is old enough to have a mature conversation with me, maybe those things will be wiped away. I don't really know. I fear for the teenage girl hormones. I was really a bitch. The friend I met this past weekend said she was too, and she added that she also acted the way she did because she could. There is always something hurtful to throw in your parents face, she just had more ammunition to choose from.

Now as a grown adult she shared that while she did and said some crazy hurtful things to her parents, she never lost the love for her brother and she realizes now that she was totally irrational.

Some of my (irrational) fears were put to rest at dinner. My wonderful and beautiful daughter will inevitably and God willing become a horrid teenager. If our relationship can make it through those years everything will turn out okay.

I could go on for a while about this, but the Internet is forever, and one day Will and Quinn will both know how to read. Emotions are complex, but the love I have deep in my heart for those two crazy kids will always, always surpass whatever is going on.


  1. "Maybe they are issues that reside only in my head and will never come to fruition." As someone who spends far too much time thinking of possible scenarios to worry about, I completely resonate with this. I think your friend's perspective is spot on. Everyone has challenges in life, and all of us were intense to our parents (glad to know I wasn't the only one looking for the achilles heel to throw into the conversation when I wanted to get my parents in the gut. jeez, what a jerk, right?). Keep that in mind, if it ever does become the thing trotted out in a teenage fit. My best friend and I were on the phone today and her 10 yr old daughter screamed "I hate my life!" and stormed to her room. If we are LUCKY that stuff will start in teenage years. It might be next year for Milena. So. much. sass. Due to your situation, there are obvious layers of complexity, but sometimes these situations can also be fairly general in that all teenagers are self absorbed and somewhat difficult. Nearly everyone I know with special needs family members also say that it made them "better people." I don't know if that helps, but like everything else in life, there is a lot of grey and not just black and white. One thing for sure is that both of those kids hit the jackpot getting you two for parents. In a sea of uncertainty, we know this much is rock solid truth. Big hugs to you, lady!

  2. Love this post - so real. What a blessing that dinner was!

  3. Great post...I am afraid that most teenagers have resentment toward siblings at some point I know we delt with that in my family from time to time. I also know that we all learned important lessons of acceptance from our cousin with special needs and all of his friends who took him in and supported him and protected him from the fools in life. Love from San Antonio!