Sunday, October 23, 2011

Being Aubrey's BIG sister

I was recently asked, "so what do the girls think about Aubrey having Down syndrome?"
When we brought Aubrey home from the hospital...we sat the girls down and told them that she had Down syndrome and what it might mean.  (they already knew about her heart)  Alice was 6, Kate was 4, Ella was 2.

Water on a ducks back....they didn't care....they just wanted to get their hands on her!  I figured that they would ask more when time went on.  So far they haven't asked much.  They attribute all of her needs to her physical problems.  She doesn't talk, because she can't hear as well, which in turn is why she gets to go to preschool even though she is so little.  She is little because she had heart surgery.  And in some respects they are right on.  Aubrey's whole preschool class is there because they have a hearing impairment and speech delays and none of them have Ds.
She is just Aubrey to them...and they see love and beauty and sisterhood.  I wish we could all see people with disabilities this way.  The world would be a better place.  It is an open conversation and when they have questions they ask and when they don't....they don't.

 I have no doubt that someday, they will realize what it means to have a sister with Ds.  Their relationship with Aubrey will be different than it will be with their other sisters.  DIFFERENT....not bad, or worse, just different.  And I don't know what that means....we won't know til they grow up.  What I do hope is that they have a wonderful bond like me and my sisters have and that they ALL worry about each other and stick up for each other and take care of each other.
Something I do worry about is where Aubrey will live.  Obviously she would always be welcome in our house....but what if we couldn't take care of her or something happened to us.  I wonder if her sisters would take her in.  Which one would step up?  I hope they would fight over having her come to live with them:)

Do they always love being her big sister?  NO!  They hate being dragged to appointments (especially the older two) and they don't always want to be helpful with her.  I guess that makes them like everyone else!  But for the most part, they are her biggest cheerleaders and always wanting to learn signs and hear about her school and stuff.

This weekend at the Forensics Fair at school, Alice did try to "sell" Aubrey....but she tried to sell them ALL.
You know that poem by Shel Silverstein "For Sale"?

For Sale

One sister for sale!
One sister for sale!
One crying and spying young sister for sale!
I’m really not kidding,
So who’ll start the bidding?
Do I hear the dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn’t there, isn’t there, isn’t there any
One kid that will buy this old sister for sale,
This crying and spying young sister for sale?

Alice changed it to FOUR....and had a sign to hold while she recited the poem.  It was funny and she did a great job.  And while some days I think she would like to sell her sisters off....most days they come home and just love each other up!
I love how she drew each sister on her sign and the "I'm not kidding!"
So there you have it....having a little sister with Down syndrome....No Big Deal!

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