Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Siblings Point of View.

This weekend has been dedicated to collecting school things in preparation for the first day of school that is exactly one week and 2 days from today. Not that I'm counting!

It's time. Specifically for the oldest. She's ready. I'm ready. This week we received the highly anticipated letters from the schools stating what teacher each of the children will have and a list of supplies needed to start the school year. Directly after receiving said letter my big girl grabs the phone and starts calling all her friends and asking who they have for a teacher this year. Thankfully, one of her "besties" is in the same class. Or else I'm certain there would have been a bit of pouting around the house for quite some time!

Maggie and Wyatt are incredibly close in age, in fact for a few months yet they are both 9 years old. However, now in some ways it's as if they're years apart! Maggie has changed so much this year...physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally. It's all changed. The changes in Wyatt's health this past year has been very hard for our girl. These two have always been nearly inseparable, best friends. For most of their years she would proudly refer to themselves as twins, as she often heard others comment that they're "Irish twins" because of their age gap. Unknowingly, she's has been the best therapist this boy could have ever had. The changes in Wyatt's health has been hard on us all, Jilly included. But Maggie understands a lot more than Jill, and even more than Wyatt, I believe. She's much like a sponge, this one, incredibly smart and always thinking. She asks questions and expects answers. We answer as much as we possibly can. Concerned for her Brother, she recently began to ask the particularly tough questions that are most difficult to answer. "Can he die from Mitochondrial disease?" As she's asking, I believe she already knows the answer and it appears she's just looking to see if we'd tell her the truth. It's not easy to do so, but we're truthful (in an age appropriate way).

She's trying to understand Mitochondrial disease, but unfortunately it's just not something that's easily understood by anyone. The particularly hard part, as her parents, is to know that she understands enough to be scared about the same things we are. She's experienced in this medical life...she's often laid beside her brother holding his hand and talking him through situations that cause him great anxiety and/or discomfort, has run to get me supplies when needed, has been left at home with grandparents not knowing when her Brother (or I) would be coming home, tagged along to long doctor appointments and has sat in the hospital for hours waiting.

 As she grows older she's begun to express her emotions about "our life." She, like many other girls, just wants to be like everyone else. But this part of her life is unlike any of her friends in our community. It's tough! She holds some anger due to the circumstances and dislikes the hospital (besides the gift shop..she enjoys the gift shop!) and is determined not to "like" any of the doctors that may care for our boy, as she revealed that she somewhat blames them for our needing to be there so often. She understands that it's not any one's "fault" and the doctors are only there to help and would rather we be at home too. But as she says "it's just how I feel." We often hear "It's not fair!", and she's right, it's not fair. This life is tough and I trust in and rely on my faith to get me through these days. I can only hope that talking about my trust and faith in God will help her to learn to trust and develop her own strong, loving faith along the way. Emotions can be so hard to deal with no matter the age, but I can't imagine dealing with these feelings as a 9 year old.

Please pray for our girl, that she may better understand and sort through these confusing emotions, leaving behind the anger and blame. That she's able to develop her own relationship with, and trust in, the Lord our God; learning to accept this "normal" that has become our life and love, even those assisting us in caring for our boy.

I do think this parenting gig gets harder as they get older!
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1 comment:

  1. You are so right on parenting getting harder and harder. And you have an even tougher job with the emotional aspects of Wyatt's illness. I have 3 teenagers and they all witnessed my grandmother's decline with Alzheimers Disease. It was hard but if it had been one of their siblings it would have been so much more difficult. May God hold Wyatt's and Maggie's hand and give them peace. Tell them both Hello from one of your blogger friends!