Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brothers and sisters

Here's what's breaking my heart lately: the dawning, sad revelation that Oli and Mani, well ... they aren't destined to be the chummy buddies I thought they'd be.

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.

OIi (4)

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.


The Beaver Bunch said...

Cling to the hope that Oli will one day have the deepest, most intimate relationships with the One who is his closest confidant.

But I understand. It's hard.

The Reader said...

I don't know how to respond to your post, other than that I know I am so moved that I can't NOT respond. Praying for you and Oli.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Achingly sad truth, calmly yet beautifully spoken.


Your kids have the most wonderful Mom!
They ALL have that going for them!

Anonymous said...

You're very inspiring to me. Thank you. btw, when will you reveal Seven's real name? Just curious.

Kate said...

It just stinks sometimes.

Sarah said...

What a blessing he is to YOU, and YOU are to him. God knows what He is doing.

Missus Wookie said...

Special need parenting is full of such realizations I've found. Moving forward in trust is about all I've found possible. Glad that Oli has you all.

Chef Penny said...

That realization is tough. Rest in the One that knows the whole plan and holds Oli close always.

Dawn said...

Wow, I could have written this post. I found you again through comments you left on my blog a few years ago (I went exploring in my old comments today!) and your post hits so close to home for me right now. Our 10 & 8yr old sons are adopted foster babies too, both affected by their bio moms' drug use. Our older one is dd (Fetal Valproate Effect, similar to FAE but a prescription med) and in many ways he is behind his younger brother. We are seeing some compensating beginning to happen with the 8yo now, taking over where he sees his big brother lacking. And I wish I could make it all go away, that he could just have a normal life, not be different, but I know that God is teaching us a lot through this young man. Sweet post. I'll be back again soon!