Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sweet Big Brother

Evan has always been a sweet big brother, the sweetest, but watching some of the ways he has played along with Jessie's pretending this week has been the sweetest thing ever.  This big maturing boy, who will be 14 in two months, who looks more like a man every day, has pretended to visit different hotels (going from one bedroom to another was going to different hotels), helped dress baby dolls, pretended Jessie had a baby (you just go to the hospital or hotel to get one!) pretended Jessie adopted a baby (she obviously has overheard much conversation about adoption lately!), um, had to tend to the baby doll on baby potty after Jessie gave her a bottle,  he routinely has to be Jessie's dance partner. Now, don't get some crazy impression that Evan LIKES to do these things, but he knows that it means a lot to Jessie and makes her happy. I left the three kids home together while I was gone several hours last week for a board meeting for our FRIENDS group.  I had hoped that Jordan and Evan would spend some time playing with Jessie AND spend some time getting their homeschool work done.  When I got home and asked about their school work, they had spent much of their time snuggling, tickling and playing with Jessie. How can I complain about that?

I asked Evan to write as a writing assignment the other day a letter for our new parent packet that includes stories from siblings who have a brother or sister with Down syndrome. This paper surely needs some editing, some perfecting (he's ALWAYS hated to write, period) but the heart he expresses toward his baby sister is pure and sweet and loving.  I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.  Below are his words:

Well my mother asked me to write about how my life is impacted by my little sister having down syndrome.  To me, having Jessie (my sister with down syndrome) as a sister is one of the greatest things that could have happened in my life, and I truly believe that.  Having Jessie as a sister has really made me have to grow up a bit faster, most brothers and sisters don't have to worry about an eight year old getting out of the house and accidentally hurting themselves.  I think that it is good for me that I've had to take the more responsibility that I have, it has matured me a considerable amount.  I would say that having a sibling with down syndrome is a good thing, they are smart, funny, entertaining, and most of all extremely lovable.  For all the teenagers out there that think that having a sibling with down syndrome will not leave you enough time for your social life you're wrong, having a sibling with down syndrome just means that you will have to spend a little more time worrying about the needs of them instead of yourself.  If I could change Jessie from being special to a normal kid, I wouldn't do it for the world I love Jessie just the way she is, to me Jessie is awesome.  To several people I know Jessie is awesome to them and they see nothing wrong with her.

This was a first draft that has corrections that need to be made, but is an accurate picture of the way he feels about her.  When he says others don't have to worry about a sister getting out and hurting themselves...we have a pool in the back and Jessie a couple of times has stepped out the front door without us realizing it (she wasn't going anywhere but was in the front yard) so we are nuts about keeping the doors chained or listening for the door.  When he describes her as lovable, I think he truly means lovable...not loving as you hear others describe people with DS.  Calling her special....he hears us use the words special needs...he considers her special as an individual but isn't referring to her as special in the ways some use it (I don't think).  "To several people I know Jessie is awesome to them and they see nothing wrong with her." Funny to me, the words of a 13 year old boy...nothing wrong with her? The heart of this 13 year old boy by his words and actions every day is this....I wouldn't change Jessie if I could..I love Jessie just the way she is, to me Jessie is awesome. I wouldn't change Evan if I could either...I love him just the way he is, to me he is awesome.

1 comment:

  1. Okay Josette, now that you made me cry. What a beautiful post about a very special relationship between a brother and a sister. Evan shows such maturity in his actions and writing. You have to be very proud of him.