Siblings are along for the ride

Amy Keslinke by Amy Keslinke Additional Needs

Amy Keslinke

Amy Keslinke

Amy is mom to 2 small children, one with developmental delays, hearing loss, and a congenital heart defect. She writes at

“Mommyyyyy! He’s sitting! He’s SITTING!” my four-year-old shouted from the other room.

Sure enough, I turned the corner and saw that my two-year-old had pulled himself up to sitting for the first time on his own.

Needless to say, this moment was huge for him and for our family.

One of the coolest things about it, though, was that my daughter, who very rarely seems to recognize that anything about her brother is different was just as excited about it as I was.

She cheered him on and kept him interested so I could take a picture before he fell over. And, when she told her daddy about it later on, her excitement had not subsided.

Aside from growing my mom-heart about ten sizes, this moment reminded me of something I often forget: Siblings are on the roller coaster too.

Although she is only four and can’t understand her brother’s special needs like her dad and I do, my daughter knows that her brother spends more time in the hospital, has more medicines, special seats, and other equipment, and just has more challenges than other kids.

She also knows that he has to work extra hard to do things that other kids don’t even have to think about doing.

The weight of that knowledge is something I wish my daughter didn’t have to carry, but, this is the hand we have been dealt.

Because my daughter carries the weight of some of the hard stuff, she also gets to experience the pure joy of the high points along with us.

Sometimes, especially when things are hard, we forget that there are gifts all around us, and I’m thankful that my daughter gets to experience the gifts of being a family with special needs.

I know that the things that she learns in the hard times are gifts as well.

So, today, here’s to the brothers and sisters.

We know you don’t always get the same attention your sibling does.

We know you have to make sacrifices.

We know you have to see and experience scary things and take on responsibilities that your friends don’t.

But, we also know that you are amazing, and we are so thankful for you.

You will soar and make the world a better place.


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