Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Being a sibling of a fragile child!

As you can imagine, being the sibling to a medically fragile child is not easy! 

There are many times they have to take a backseat. They have to go without seeing one parent, things they wanted to do have to be cancelled or changed because their brother is in the hospital. 

When Jax was a baby Carter was 3. It was as if I had a job. I got up in the morning and took him to grandmas house while I went up to the hospital to be with Jax. Because Jax was in and out, Carter became very clingy to me. To this day he is the one that always wants to come with me if I go out!

In the last 8 years its just become life. Something you don't even think about. For years we've been taking each boy out about once a month for one on one time. We try to do it if there is something happening they like. The air shows and military museums for Mondo. A new superhero movie for Tanner. A baseball game for Carter. 
Our whole experience in Utah made me really remember what our boys deal with! 
In St. George when Jaxson was blue and we had to call for help, the boys didn't even blink. They ran out to flag down the firetrucks like the old pros they are! As I sat in the ER with Jax, waiting for life flight to come, the kids sat in the car, watching movies for 3 long hours! It was that or chase Arina around a crowded waiting room! She quickly fell asleep in the car. They missed a week of school when we had to drive back up to Utah. Then when they drove home with daddy, they had to get themselves up and off to school alone, because daddy had already left for work!  
Christmas decorations didn't get put up this year, and many of the Christmas events we didn't attend. Luckily the boys are a bit older, and Arina doesn't understand yet, so it wasn't a big deal! But it was a big deal to me. I felt like in the last month the boys had been through a lot! So a lot more time was focused on them, and things they wanted or needed!

There are good things that come from being the sibling of a fragile child. And I think, that those far outweigh the bad. 

The boys are very self sufficient. When they have to go out in the real world, they can cook and care for themselves. Which I would have instilled in them even if Jax wasn't in our life. Because I was the same way as a child! 
They are much more compassionate people! All of the boys come to Jax at least a couple times a day and kiss him, or hold him. Or just make sure they check on him. They go out of their way to help people, and to hold doors. They can pick out a person with special needs like a needle in a haystack, and they go out of their way to talk to them. I constantly find "selfies" on my phone of Carter and Arina!
I asked all three boys separately, if they would change their life with Jax. If they wished they had more time to do what they wanted to do. And here's what every.single.boy said!
They would take away any hurt he had to endure. They would want him to be able to walk, and talk to them. None of the boys said they would change their own situations at all. Not a single one! 

Ray and I both take pride in the fact that we've concentrated a lot on making sure the boys life changes as little as possible with Jax. So I can say for a fact that it can be done. Just remember to take time once a month for each child. Even if its just popping popcorn and watching a movie. It will make a difference, I promise!


Becca said...

Oh, Lacey, I didn't think I could love your boys more until I read this post. You have some really extraordinary kids there. This was a beautiful post, and a reminder to anyone who hears/says that a child with special needs will ruin a family that siblings of children with special needs are stronger, more compassionate people.

Jen Paris said...

This is great Lacey, and yes you do have spectacular kids, who have spectacular parents! :) Happy New Year!