Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Jared's brothers:Jake and Braydon
 Today is our middle son's birthday. Jake has been a huge force in Jared's life.  Time after time, we see the siblings of children with special needs as extraordinary. Jake is precisely that. Even though he is a little over 3 years younger than Jared, he resides in the big brother role, not always by his choice,  more often than not. It has not always been easy for Jake; at times throughout his young life, he has craved a traditional "big brother", but he has accepted, with grace, that his relationship with Jared is of a different nature.  Sad sometimes? Yes. I promised myself I'd be honest in this blog. I think that is respectful to my readers.  But, while there has been some sadness for Jake, there has been so much more joy as he has grows up with Jared. He and Jar have been known to laugh for hours over the silliest things. I think he likes that his brother still hugs him, still makes funny faces at him, still wrestles with him.  Perhaps the most incredible thing is Jake's natural ability to protect Jared. When they were young, I remember a 3 year old boy helping his big brother down the stairs, holding his hand and assuring him, "It's ok Budder, I got you."

I think Jake will always have his brother's back, but I think it's necessary to offer this next piece of advice: When Jake was born, my mother told me to help him love his big brother, but to never expect him to be Jared's keeper; that this might cause Jake to resent his special brother.  So, I have tried hard over the years to let Jake be Jar's little brother.  It is Jake who has lovingly instilled himself as his brother's protector, and because of this, our middle boy is growing up to be a man of true love and honor. Happy Birthday, my Jakey boy. Thank you for smoothing your brother's path,  for never taking away his dignity and for letting him be the big brother.


  1. This is so true. My second born is 4years younger than his sister whom has Down syndrome. He has also accepted the role of big brother in so many ways. My relationship with him is very special. There are times the two of us will look at one another when his sister is having a mood, and we just smile, laugh or give each other a wink. We don't even need to talk sometimes we just have an unspoken code as my son says. I remember though the first time he tied her shoes for her and it was at that moment I realized the roles had changed as much as I tried to resist it just happened. It was a sad moment for me but as I look back it was only sad for me. Neither of my kids realized nor cared. I have been blessed with my children, all three of them each with their own role.

  2. Hello Cheri,
    You are right;I think it is such a relief and joy when we can just embrace and accept the unique roles held by our children. I'm glad that your daughter has such a loving brother and equally glad that he can enjoy and love her as well. Take care.