|Oli (2) & Mani (5 mos.)|
Mani has surpassed Oli in so many ways.
|Oli (age 3) & Mani (19 mos)|
His speech. His reasoning. His physical abilities. His size. His play. His everything.
|Mani (age 2) & Oli (3.75)|
18 months in age stand between them. And yet ...
|Oli (4) & Mani (2.5)|
Oli is the two year-old, and Mani is going on three.
There are days when it doesn't matter. Days when I see them as twins, and simply do the next thing in my long list of get-'er-dones.
And then, there are days when the blossoming relationship between Mani and Seven yanks me back to reality. Yes--these two are destined to be buddies. They are already in love with one another. Already connecting and nurturing and sharing the giggles and grins that set the foundation for peerhood.
|Seven (4 mos.) & Mani (2.5)|
And there sits Oli, trying so very hard to keep his footing in a world that moves faster, burns brighter, and laughs harder than he can fully understand.
It is bittersweet, the innocence that Oli embodies. He is not wise to the ways of the world, and for that, he seems much younger. But he is also beginning to realize that he is being passed over by so very much.
In the end, it does not matter--this sad longing that I have that will go unfulfilled. It is God who crafts my family, and He knows the who and the why and the how. As my dear friend Benny reminded me this morning, I can only see what lays in front of me, and His vision goes farther and longer than mine ever could.
But still I mourn for the could have, would have, should haves. Even as I watch with awe and wonder the bud of a relationship that is opening between Mani and Seven ... I pull Oli a little tighter to me and try to make up for what he doesn't even know he will miss out on.
Perhaps this is what special needs parenting is all about.