"Sister, go to park with me? I help you and you hold my hand. We swing together?"
Sweet words from little sister, Camille, to big sister, Clara, as we made an impromptu stop at the neighborhood park last week. How they stood still long enough for me to snap this shot I will never know. But as I sit here typing and examining this photo in detail, I know this moment was a sweet gift from our sweet Father.
These moments are so precious. So very uplifting to this every now and then, weary mammas heart. Moments where I see Camille, completely typical in every way, loving and caring and showering protection and inclusion on her sister. Watching Camille's tenderness and compassion and concern for her big sister, who she knows full well struggles in areas she doesn't, is just the sweetest sight.
I'd be lying if I said I never wondered about how their relationship might unfold. How they might grow in relationship as the gap between typical and special needs continues to widen. Because at 2.5 years, Camille far surpasses her 4 year old sister in skill and development.
Will Camille always be this gentle? Will she always be this intentional? This willing to include her and ask her to play and take her by the hand and attempt to interact, even if the interaction is somewhat one-sided? Will this continue on as toddler years turn teen years?
I have to fight lies with truth when the enemy tries to convince me that for whatever reason, their relationship won't be as strong and life-filled as two typically developing sisters.
These lies go hand in hand with all the unknowns that come when parenting a child with special needs. These unknowns, left properly unattended, make way for fear and mental unrest. So I have to replace these lies with holy words such as John 16:28, Isaiah 41:10, 2 Timothy 1:7, and Jeremiah 29:11.
And once armed with truth, I look at these pictures and I think no, I don't need to worry. Because regardless of skill level or goals achieved or intellectual capabilities, these two share a bond like no other.
I see Camille's hand, sweetly touching her sister's shoulder, the look in her eyes when she speaks to Clara, and I know it will all be okay.
I love watching their story unfold. And I'm thankful I get a front row seat in a journey not all mammas are blessed to walk . . . the journey of typical and special needs sisterhood coming together as one.