Monday, July 25, 2016

The Typical and Special Needs Sibling Bond

"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.


  1. Sweet sisters :) I have faith that their relationship will always be this sweet because they are being taught such a good example by their mom and dad of how to treat people!

  2. What a gift they both are to each other!!

  3. We have dear family friends that are twins (now 23 years old) and one of them is typical and one of them has special needs. Tiffany has a very rare progressive muscular disease and is permanently in a wheel chair and has a very, very hard time talking. I started babysitting the girls when they were 7 and have watched their beautiful relationship over all of these years. I watched Amanda always include Tiffany when they had friends over, never leaving her behind. They were in very different classes and activities in high school, but their mom always made sure they had their lunch period together. One of them is in college right now while the other is living at home with their parents. Their relationship is still so strong. Your girls are so blessed to have each other and to have a mom like you!

  4. Oh my gosh...I am totally procrastinating on going to bed over here. I usually have to go to sleep early on Saturday nights but David isn't preaching tomorrow, so I'm living it up. :) I just blogged and came over to read your latest entries as a further extension of my procrastination. This brought me to tears! I was just reflecting on what a gift my girls are to one another, too. The photos you have captured are beautiful, and your words are too. I had to say something! I also wanted to chime in with Brittany (above) that I know a wonderful family of triplets, two of whom have CP and one who does not. They are all very close and it's beautiful to watch.

    I'm sorry to hear about all of your house and family issues this month, and the blow dryer is definitely adding insult to injury. Did you buy a new one yet? I have had the same blow dryer since college and bought it without doing any research. Apparently there are FEATURES on blow dryers? I had no idea. Maybe you can consider this an opportunity to upgrade to a super cool one? :)

    1. Thank you for sharing!!

      Haha and yes, I'll consider this an opportunity to upgrade! :)


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