When Reed and I first told our kids that there was a possibility of Parker having an extra chromosome it took a minute for the reality of the situation to sink in. They each quietly went their respective ways to ponder and think.
But a few hours later the whole group (gang? gaggle? herd?) of them came to me and told me that they had all gotten together and had talked and prayed. They had come to the decision that no matter what Parker’s issues may be it was okay with them. They knew Parker was meant to be a part of our family. He was one of us. They promised to be there for him and love him no matter what.
And they have kept their word. Each and every one of them. To the point of Parker pretty much being the most popular person in the house. Each time one of my kids come home the first thing they do is to follow the oxygen tubing. They know that where the tubing ends is where Parker begins.
(And in case any of my kids happen to read this, I hope you remember that the house rule is that washing your hands is actually the first thing you should do when you get home. I’m just sayin’.)
My kids have contests to see who Parker wants to hang out with. The prize being not only bragging rights, but one on one time with the little guy.
So imagine my surprise when today my twelve year old told me that he wanted a new brother. One that looked like he was three years old. One that he could run and play football and soccer with. One that could talk and eat without needing a tube in his stomach.
You know. A normal brother. The kind that all the other kids have.
I must admit that after my shock wore off, a bit of anger set it. But luckily my heart won out over my head and I took a minute to see things from a big brother’s perspective.
It wasn’t that my twelve year old didn’t love Parker. Quite the opposite. He loves Parker so much that he grieves for what he thinks can never be for Parker.
And so the twelve year old and I talked about our dreams and goals for this kid we both love and adore so much. I told the twelve year old that while it will take Parker longer to achieve some the dreams we have for him, I absolutely believe that Parker will one day run and talk and play football and soccer.
And the victory will be so much sweeter because the obstacles were so much greater.
It all must have made sense to the twelve year old. Because a few minutes later I noticed that he had swiped Parker right out of the hands of the nine year old and was spending some quality time with the little bro.
Doing what boys, especially brothers who are the best of friends, do best:
At least the boys in our family anyway.