I still see you. I see how big you’re getting, so smart, so kind. I am slowly bringing out your old clothes for your brothers to wear, and am shocked each time, convinced that only yesterday, you were so small as well.
Life is not always what we imagined. When we excitedly told you that two little babies were going to join our family, your excitement was timid. But it was authentic. And I could not wait to see you become a big brother. When we found out they might be very ill, I pulled back a bit. I instead talked about how they would need a big brother to help them. And in our bed time stories, I often had you pulling them on adventures with you in a shiny red wagon.
They are here. And they are ill. And they demand more of me than I sometimes have to give. That doesn’t always leave a lot left over for you. You deserve so much, but you happily accept what is offered.
I often worry about how all of this will impact you. There is plenty I could fret over, but I try to focus on the good. And YOU, my dear K, will learn far more about compassion and acceptance than many of us do in a life time.
At the end of the day, you’re actually teaching ME about those things. You do not see our babies for what they are not. You only see them for what they are…Little Brothers who need love. And kisses. And help holding toys.
You now celebrate with us and exclaim “Landon’s eyes are open!” “Nolan’s smiling!” or most importantly, “He’s happy!” and I realize YOU care about the right things. Even if I sometimes get off track.
Two specific moments recently really hit home for me. One night I was trying to help your brother learn the feel of a spoon. So while I was cooking dinner, I would turn around, and try a spoonful of milk. Landon drooled more than he drank, but it was a worthwhile exercise that will likely be repeated often, long before it is mastered. I ran upstairs to get a load of laundry, and took a few minutes to return. When I did, you were there, by his side, just sitting with him.
On another occasion, we all returned home around the same time, but in two vehicles. I was still bringing babies in, but you didn’t know that. You ran in the house, went to their “spots”, and when they weren’t there, you started bawling and crying that the babies were gone. You don’t even understand how real of a concern that is, yet your choice of words and truly devastated reaction hit me like a punch to the heart. I’ve cried about that moment several times since. I was reminded of how much YOU stand to lose. And how much you are invested in our boys. But it also reminded me how seriously you are taking your role. And how proud I am of who you are.
There are a lot of things that make these boys seem unlucky at a glance. But thanks to you, there are also things that make them seem like the luckiest little boys alive. They have you. And I have all of you. And that makes me a pretty lucky mama too.
M, you have truly written the most amazing letter to K that one day he will cherish. It has blessed my heart beyond measure, but that is just the kind of momma that I know you are. An amazing little boy named K has a awesome mom!!!!
My older girls are 10 and 8, my special needs son is 4. My girls have learned how to be compassionate and care about the same things we cheer their brother on for when he learns a new skill. Older kids of special needs siblings are so beautiful in how they grow into their place as a protective sibling. You wrote so beautifully and K will already know how loved he is but writing this will be something that he will cherish.
Sheila Blevins said:
You made me cry! Happy tears~sad tears – just tears. Karson is such a lucky and special young man. We all should learn a lesson from him – just enjoy “being” with the ones you love. I (and I am sure many others) have grown and learned from you and your family sharing your journey. The big things truly are in the little things. Love to the Rinker’s!
Laura Crawford Coomer said:
Melody!!! Oh goodness here again crying! K will one day cherish this letter! We don’t give our little people enough credit sometimes. I can remember finding out I was pregnant with Emma and here Abbee was only 6 months old…to be honest I cried bc I felt so much like I was taking away from Abbee’s time. In all reality we have given her a best friend! She is far more compassionate than Emma only bc she looks out for her little sister and takes care of her. I see that in her on a daily basis. Prayers for you all! Once again thank you for letting us in your world!