Sunday, March 14, 2010

The other children.

I'm right in the middle of one of the battle's of being the "other" children in a home with a special needs/medically fragile child. Although I do think having a Down syndrome child has made my children better, more compassionate people. Its not all kicks and giggles, as many of you know. Me and Heather were just talking about how sometimes it seems like our kids are not socially adjusted, having spent so much time either stuck at home, or at a relatives house. They don't always get the attention they need because their sibling takes up all the parents time.
Carter is probably the easiest out of all the kids. He goes with the flow, and he's very outgoing. He doesn't mind going to grandma's when Jax is in the hospital, because when he was a toddler he went to grandma's every day for 4 months. He's very mature for his age, and sees things like a much older child would.

Tanner, for an autistic child, is doing remarkably well this year. He takes it very hard when Jax is in the hospital, probably because he likes routine, and that changes when Jax goes in. He absolutely loves Down syndrome children though. And I'm seeing him interact more with Jax lately. And now that the boys know we are hoping to get a baby sister, Tanner tells me he wants to bring Ella home to be his baby sister.

People approach me a lot and tell me how sweet and helpful my boys are. One reason is not from having Jaxson, its from having a daddy that instills in their brain that they need to hold doors open for people, and help people that look like they need a hand. At Disneyland, a lady that was there with her father going on the Haunted Mansion with a handicap pass, approached us. She said that having children with special needs makes the siblings much more helpful. She told me that Mondo had held the gate open for her and her father to get through.
Now don't get me wrong, my boys are no angels! Of course home is where they test their boundaries, and act out. But I love that they are such respectful boys!

The dark side of being a sibling of a special needs child really comes out with Mondo. The oldest, he gets more responsibility. He is my super sensitive child, and extremely shy. He takes having Jax as a baby brother the hardest. He constantly asks me if Jax is going to die. He doesn't make friends very easy, and he lives in the shadow of his younger brother that is good in everything. Mondo said he wanted to play baseball this year. He loved baseball when he was little, but after getting hit with the ball while playing, he never got back into it. I know one reason he wants to play is because Carter plays. Carter also gets a lot of attention because he is one of the best players in the league at only 7. We signed Mondo up, because we know he always feels left out. I took him to his first practice on Thursday. I didn't even make it all the way home before I got a phone call. He had been hit in the face by the baseball!
Seriously, does this kid ever get a break?
When I went to get him, he had a cut on his nose from the ball hitting his glasses, and the bridge of his nose was double in size.
This picture is from the morning after. It actually wasn't as black and blue as I thought it would be, and the swelling was gone.

This picture is from today. It actually looks a little worse, and its starting to get yellow. Lovely!

And while most boys love showing off black eyes, this child with a low self esteem is more worried what the kids at school will say. And that they will stare at him. He says he wants to keep playing, and his coaches seem like really nice guys. I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a disaster for my sensitive little man. He is in the majors because of his age, but most kids in the majors have been playing forever. So I worry he won't be as good and he'll get teased.
Most of all I hope playing baseball helps him fit in, and gives him an outlet for the stresses of being the big brother of a special needs child!


Lovin Lane said...

Wow, just so you know around here a big shiner is like a right of passage for young boys.... My Lane 5 years old, last year he had an object land on his nose causing a trip to the er and should have left a huge shiner, but didnt.... the next day he took a ball to the face at baseball to no avail, and three days after that he stood by the pitchers mound and took a serious line stright to the face... It was bad, and as you heard the sigh from the crowd you knew this one was gonna leave a serious mark..,.,. Lane was not coming off that field, he kept playing, and the only thing he was upset about is he STILL didnt get the black eye.. (at this point I am not sure it is possible lol) boys where to they come from..... So Lane would be SO PROUD to sport that shiner around.... But mom to mom it is so hard to see what big shoes are little guys try to fill... I sure hope he loves baseball....

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Oh Mondo, you sure do have a shiner! I hope it doesn't hurt too much.

It is hard to be the sibling, I'm sure. It does make for sensitive, empathetic boys. But it is sure hard to balance their needs/wants/outlets. I hope he sticks with baseball, and I hope he gets better and better.

For what it's worth, Jacob loved all your boys. He was instant friends with them, and can't wait to play with them again.

Corinne Judy Smith said...

Are you writing about my oldest? It breaks my heart to hear about your guy because I see so much of my oldest in him. I'm beginning to think that boys take being the oldest a bit different than girls do. I hope your guy fits in and is able to slide right back into the baseball scene.
Great blog today! So everyday is a great blog when you write, but I really enjoyed hearing about your boys today.

Kristen's mom said...

I sometimes feel the same way about my other children. I tell them all of the time that Kristen just needs me more right now, and soon one of the others will. Seems like we go through phases. I watched the movie, "My Sister's Keeper" (Don't know what I was thinking, I should NEVER have watched it) and the mother spends her life trying to save her daughters life that she doesn't even notice her son has a learning disability. It made me realize that I need to try harder to keep things in check and do whatever I can to spend time with the other kids. Not easy being in the hospital for weeks at a time.

Jessica said...

How funny that you should post this tonight, as I was going to ask you how your other kids do with Jax. So Thank you! Thank you! It's nice to hear that they are so compassionate to others. I hope to raise my other child to be empathetic & sypathetic to others. I feel so blessed to have crossedx paths with you and your blog. Like Ive said before you are truly an inspiration.

April said...

Oh that was a tender post. My oldest is my quiet worrier... Thank you for sharing your sweet family!

Derek, Kenzee and Gage said...

What sweet boys it sounds like you have, I want my husband to teach my kids the same respect. They sure are handsome boys.

Denise said...

Boy, I sure don't feel like your boys aren't socially well adjusted. Yes, I can tell that Mondo is the shyest but I think that is just his personality whether he has a brother with special needs or not. I was amazed at how well all three boys interacted with my girls at Disneyland after basically meeting for the first time. I don't think you really have a thing to worry about. Maybe it is different at home but from what I have seen, you don't seem "caught up" in constantly caring for Jax at all. You are the most relaxed mother of a medically fragile child that I have ever seen!! I have seen some socially unadjusted kids before and I would NEVER put your kids in that category. I mean it when I say that I am in love with all your boys and miss them already. I don't think I would feel that way if they hadn't been social with me. And of course, you know that Tanner has completely won me over big time with his love for Ella. You and Ray are wonderful parents and it really shows in your kids.

TUC said...

Thank you for sharing so sweetly about Jax's sibs. I can relate. Someday Mondo is going to be so proud of his shiner pics.

Becky said...

I know how you feel. I have one in my house that is like your oldest. It's hard on them, but I KNOW without a doubt that they will grow up to be incredible people.

Anonymous said...

I think you just described my children! It is hard being the sibling of a special needs child but you are right, it makes them the best and most caring children ever! Hope his eye gets better quick!!

The VW's said...

Sorry about your eye, Mondo! That looks like it hurts! I bet your next practice will go better! Hang in there!

Mondo sounds like our 2nd boy, Nolan. They take on a lot of responsibility and really feel sad when they think their brother isn't doing well. It breaks my heart to see my other boys worry and I hate that they have to become responsible before they should have to! I totally get what you are saying!

I also know that our other children will grow up being compassionate people and in the world today, this can be a rare thing! So, in the end, this suffering will do them good! It's just so hard to watch when you are the Momma!

From here, I see your children as terrific boys! They are wise beyond their years and yet, they still seem so happy, full of life and very well adjusted! You and Ray do a great job of allowing them to have fun and just be boys!

Although this situation makes you sad, know that they are doing great and so are you! Love and Hugs!!!

Becca said...

Wow, what a wonderful look at the rest of your children!! Beautiful photos, and amazing kids. I'm so sorry to hear about Mondo's accident. :-( Thank you for sharing this!

CFMama said...

I so enjoyed reading about your other boys. Precious photos...even the black and blue.

It sounds like you have some lil gentlemen on your hands.

PS. The photos of Nathan and watermelon were edited using Adobe Lightroom. I adjusted the exposure, etc...

Rochelle said...

Oh so sorry about Mondo's eye. But, truly proud of him that he wants to continue playing and didn't throw in the towel.
We all have our own gifts and he will find his.
Isn't it great to see all your hard work pay off when they are sweet to others? Love it!

where the wild things are said...

The boys are getting so big. The girls really like all your pictures. I really like the pic of the whole family. I would like one of those. Rays camera takes great pictures. Sadie remembers that Ray gave her a doll. Love you guys

Anonymous said...


Being very new to this site, i have been unable to read through your archives(though I will). So, I don't know if you have tried this before.

I would ask one/all of Jaxson's doctors if they know of a sibling group for children of special needs.

Most areas have these groups. It is a place where siblings can have their own place. A place to talk with others like them--other kids who have siblings with special needs. These groups are usually headed by a therapist.

The groups talk. They also have craft times and short outings.

It might be a great way to expand his social circle and, let him know he is not alone.

Stephanie said...

Finally catching up on the updates, i love all the pictures of Disneyland. Your family is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle and Sean said...

I'm sorry things are tough right now for Mondo. That stinks that he got hit with the ball. I hope things get better for him soon!! He has been through so much!! The brothers and sisters of special needs kids end up taking on a little more than we want them to have to. They have to grow up a little faster. Its hard on them. We are having similar problems with our kiddos. I'm hoping and praying that they will end up being okay in the long run.

I will keep all of your kids in my prayers. I hope things get a little easier. I also hope he will do great in baseball the rest of the season!

You seem like a really great mom!! Your boys are so lucky to have you for their mom!!

Evie's Story said...

I hear you. Feel in the same court some days. Same worries for my other children. Learning so much about trusting the Lord with them when I can fix things and make everything as secure and stable for them as Id like.

Bless his heart - what a shiner!

Kele@ said...

I will be thinking of your Mondo, I think it is great that he is going to keep playing, what a trooper... and he is a very good looking trooper, black eye or not!
I love hearing when parents instill manners and being respectful in their kids, I know that I am very proud of my childrens manners, and often seem horrified when I am around other children who obviously been taught none, which is a shame. Parents are doing their children a major diservice when they don't teach them the importance of respect.

I just love that Tanner says he wants to bring Ella home, how cute is that?!?! Tell him that I want to bring her home too but that darn Denise won't let me have her!

kecia said...

wow! this post...and especially the picture of Jax and his sounds like you have a great family!