Which is why you should pray for the siblings of children with disabilities as much as you do for moms and dads.
My Hannah is a ferocious protector of her older brother. She is known in our house as ‘she-who-can-do-no-wrong’ because Paul trusts her completely about everything.
Her antenna is tuned to any slight she thinks is headed his way. She hates it when people stare at Paul or our family.
Several years ago when she first began to notice people staring, she would consider my explanation that people just weren’t used to seeing boys like Paul, and we needed to be patient and kind. She could accept that children might stare, especially children younger than she was. But she has never gotten used to adults staring. “Adults should know better,” she once said to me.
Yes, they should. How do I encourage her to be respectful of adults who behave badly or speak utter nonsense in their ignorance? It is a struggle for me to lead my children well in this area, and I expect it will get even harder.
But she keeps finding ways to make her point without being combative. Over the summer we visited a pool and two boys were very curious about Paul. She simply took him in her lap and held him, clearly stating without words, “he is loved. He is protected. He is my brother.”
Thank you, Lord, for this girl and for this boy!