"Having another kid around will be a good influence on Max," people have been saying. Perhaps they think that seeing a sibling learning to speak and develop could help Max with his own speech and development. Yes, I'll bet the baby will rub off on him in one way or the other. But I also think Max is going to have an amazing influence on the baby.
Max's school music teacher recently sent a video of him playing You Are My Sunshine on a keyboard; Max asked her to tape it and sent to me. This is because I'd let him know that the baby (five months along!) can hear things now, and he wanted him to listen up. "We had quite the conversation about singing and playing music for his baby brother," she wrote. [Swoon.]
Max may very well teach his little bro a thing or two about the keyboard, along with fire trucks, reading, riding a bicycle and the joys of photo-bombing. He has skills to share and show off, of course, along with a cheerful, can-do outlook on life that I'd be thrilled for the baby to take after. Sabrina is going to be an incredible big sister; soon enough she'll be showing her brother how to make rainbow loom bracelets, jump on a pogo stick and write stories. Hopefully, she will not show him how to order stuff off Amazon.
For sure, Max will help this child to grow up knowing that having a disability means you still have abilities and talents. That in many ways, kids with disabilities are like other kids and that differences are what make you unique. And that you can be disabled and plenty annoying, as siblings know just how to be—in other words, perfectly typical.