I once had “the talk” with Abby. No, not THE TALK. The online world talk. She (like her dad) thinks the internet is the devil and has no wish to be on the social media world some of us call life.
Now I am breaking the rules we set, because it is important. Also she is not online so she will never know,right?
Because this is important information for the parent who has more than one child and that other child is “typical”.
The truth is, the “typical” sibling gets shortchanged. In fact, they are probably the only victim in this unexpected life.
Yes, I said it: the “typical” child draws the short-straw. Every freaking time.
Every time a doctor’s appointment trumps a school event.
Every time a therapy appointment trumps an afterschool activity.
Every time dealing with their sibling trumps homework help (yup I own it).
Every time a play date happens at their friend’s house and not your own because your sibling cannot handle it.
Every time they are pushed, punched or have their hair pulled and say, that X just doesn’t understand.
Every time you stop what you are doing because your sibling needs your attention and doesn’t understand the concept of in a minute.
Every time the typical kid wants to do X but quietly and without argument does Y so their sibling can be involved.
Every time the typical sibling is asked to babysit because they can care for their special needs sibling better than anyone on the planet.
The sibling of the child with a disability is both a blessing and a curse to their parent.
Yes, I admit it.
On one hand they are a blessing. YES this is the child that is fun. This is the child that we can converse with, watch a movie with and laugh at the absurd.
On one hand they are more difficult. Bridget never argues with me, she doesn’t give me the eye roll or the tween sigh.
On one hand Bridget has sensory, physical and speech issues.
On the other, her sibling has anxiety and a fear of sleeping when her sister is not with her.
Both children have challenges, that Bridget’s are highlighted is both privacy and circumstance.
There is a balance you have to keep. Taking a day off to focus on the “typical” child. Allowing her to be an only child, there are days you have to allow that to happen. I know that being Bridget’s sister has made Abby more empathetic, more caring and more accepting of those who are different.
I know that if asked, Abby would say that her sister is perfect and never once tell you how hard it is to be her sibling.
I also know that being Bridget’s sister is sometimes harder than being her mom and she needs her village as much as I do.
I just have to help her find it.