I often sit back and watch the bond between Joey and his two siblings. It’s amazing, simply beautiful. Other families who have a child with special needs and other children know the bond I’m talking about.
I knew I always wanted more than one child from the beginning and I knew I wanted my children close in age so they would have each other to play with. I grew up an only child and even though I had cousins my age who I saw on a regular basis, it wasn’t the same. I admit, it was very lonely and I knew I didn’t want my children to be lonely like I was.
So less than 9 months after I had Joey, we found out that I was expecting again! The day Leah was born, my parents brought Joey to the hospital to meet his baby sister for the first time. It was love at first sight for Joey. He has loved Leah from day one and the same when he met Aiden for the first time.
Leah has told me several times that, “Mommy when I grow up, I’m going to take care of Joey.” This truly makes my happy, proud, and at times sad. Sad mostly because the thought of not being able to care for him someday scares the heck out of me. I often joke around saying that I’m going to share a nursing home room with Joey someday.
The past few months, I’ve noticed the bond growing more with Aiden and Joey as well. The other morning, Aiden picked out Joey’s clothes for the day and helped him get dressed. I could feel a lump forming in my throat, as I watched Aiden help him. It’s such a wonderful feeling watching both of my children help Joey and love him the way they do.
Aiden also reminds Joey to go potty on a regular basis so he has less accidents which is honestly a HUGE help. Also, every weekend, Aiden enjoys sneaking down from the top bunk (the boys have bunk beds), and sleeps in bed with Joey. The two of them together are precious!
Both Leah and Aiden are VERY protective of Joey, if the day ever comes where someone messes with Joey in front of Leah and Aiden or if they ever find out, I honestly pity the fool…
What amazes me the most is how the two of them always know exactly what Joey wants. They know the best ways to play with him. As simple as the activity may be, they play along perfectly and rarely complain. One of their favorite things to do with him (it may drive some people nuts) but it’s actually the three of them chasing each other through our house. It may sound like a small pack of elephants but Joey loves chasing Leah and Aiden! He laughs the whole time they play along with him. Another activity Joey loves to do with them is watching of them blow bubbles and he pops them.
A few years back Dr. Brian Skotko and Susan Levine published a book called, Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters. The awesome thing is that Dr. Skotko has a sister who has Down syndrome and he just happens to be a doctor who has taken a huge interest in Down syndrome and runs a Down syndrome clinic in Boston! He is an inspiration not only to fellow DS siblings but parents as well.
The one thing that does ease my mind about the future is the fact that I have three totally amazing kids, and I know that between Leah and Aiden, Joey will always be watched over. And no one can ever take that extra special bond away between my children.