Parenting is hard, it is great joy that requires so much. It is hard to be a parent to all boys. It is hard to be a parent to a child that has special needs; a child that requires a lot of medical attention. I can tell you what it is like to be the mother. Jeremy can tell you what it is like to be the father. We can tell you all of the wonderful good and all of the crazy bad.
But what is it like to be the sibling? To know that their brother's needs must come first. Know how to use the feeding pump and a suction machine. Know hospitals and ERs better than most adults (and the EMTs). To spend many hours in doctor offices, even when it was your day off from school. To know many different kinds of seizures. To catch projectile vomit from your brother. To ride in the car for hours in silence just to not upset their brother. To ride in an ambulance. To have many plans canceled because of yet another medical need. To have parents not be present in body or mind on many occasions. To be sent to yet another house because their parents had to get back to the hospital. To hear, "I can't right now, I need to take care of Brayden", too many times in a week. To explain to children and adults, why they brother cannot talk or walk or eat. To know the frailty of life.
Do I worry about them? Absolutely. We do our best to be parents to all of our boys and address each of their needs but it not always that easy. Thankfully, this past year we have been able to focus on them more since Brayden has been very stable.
I do know that Carter and Luke are siblings who know unconditional love. They know life is not fair and it cannot always be about them. They know God has a plan even when we do not understand. To them, Brayden is their brother and this is their life. They see it all so simply. They see their brother. They are the only ones Brayden allows in his bed. They understand him so well. They are the ones I find caring for Brayden and hanging with him, just because he is their brother. The sweetness that I see when they interact with him will melt any one's heart.
I know many of you have seen this video of Sports Illustrated SportsKid of the Year 2012. It is about a brother loving his brother, plain and simple.
And by the way, I showed Carter the video and he said, "Brayden would not like to a triathlon, he would probably get upset."
So true, Brayden can only handled so much fun...