Tuesday, December 6, 2016

If only everyone saw him like his baby brother does

The baby wakes up first in our house, followed by Max, who goes into his room. As I'm lying in bed, half asleep, I hear Max making noises and Ben laughing. It is one of the best sounds I've ever heard.

The kids each have their own special relationship with Ben. He always has a squeal for Sabrina when she walks in the door at the end of the day, and loves to be held by her—so much so that sometimes he'll cling to her and refuse to come to me. Lately, she walks around the house with him as he toddles like Frankenstein, clutching her finger.

Ben likes to poke at Max's face—his nose, his cheeks, his eyes, his hair—and Max gladly tolerates it. Max is really great at picking up stuff Ben drops off his high chair, which happens approximately every 3.5 seconds. Lately, he is trying to teach him to talk. "Say 'thank you!'" Max requested the other day, after I gave Ben lunch. Ben just grinned.

Sometimes, Max and I stand there and laugh delightedly at Ben, who has taken to saying "Yeah!" when you ask him a question. It's his only word, and it is far better than "No!" We are pretty sure Ben doesn't know exactly what's being asked, but he does get that when you hear a question, you give a response.

Oh, and the kisses: When Max leans over to Ben in his high chair, Ben will open his mouth and plant his lips on Max's cheek. I could keel over from the cuteness.

Ben doesn't think that his big brother talks funny or acts different. He doesn't feel sorry for him. He'll grow up thinking that he's just Max. Sure, there will be questions down the road but his concept of Max will not change: that he is a cheerful, big-hearted, animated guy with an infectious giggle. Who fights with him over his fire trucks.

Sometimes, when I watch Ben gaze adoringly at Max, I wish that more people could see Max for who he is, instead of mainly seeing his disability.


  1. There is nothing like watching the love between our children and you have captured that perfectly. For me there is no greater joy.

  2. And because of this relationship Max and Ben are very lucky. This will make Ben a fantastic advocate.

  3. If he wants the advocate role, that's great.

    If he doesn't, that's also great.

  4. I have four daughters, almost 16 (!), 14, 11 and 5. The 5 year old is my extra special baby with Down syndrome.

    It always shocks my older girls when someone says something about their baby sister. Most of the time its innocent, I don't think they've yet run into anything too negative, but it's small comments about whether she'll be able to do all the things they've been able to do. For example, they ALL play in the band are and in marching band. Teagan ADORES going to their concerts and their parades. A friend of ours was wondering out loud if Teagan would be able to play an instrument. My third daughter (11) said "yep she just hasn't chosen yet. And she can't wait to march either". It's nice that to them there are no limitations. And we are fortunate to be in a school district that I won't have to fight to get her the opportunity to be involved in anything she wants to be involved in. They've become her advocates without even knowing.

  5. Siblings are great. I remember my audiologist once asked my sister what it is like having a sibling with hearing loss (it was for some research paper) and her response was "annoying" and my audiologist was like why (probably expecting some profound answer) and my sister said "because she's my sister". We must have been about 10 then but it still makes me laugh.

  6. Aw,Ellen. Sometimes I read your posts and think, you're the luckiest person in the world.

    1. This is so very true. Ellen has the most beautiful and brilliant children. I adore them.


Thanks for sharing!

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