These words came from the same little boy that I was so afraid to tell that his baby brother had Down syndrome after he was born...that his brother would be a little different, look a little different, that he
would take a little longer to learn things...but that he would. Nope, I couldn't do it. For the first 10 months of Reid's life Luke's understanding of the word Down syndrome was that it meant he had a "bad heart". We had friends tell us we were wrong for not giving him the whole diagnosis, but I just didn't feel he was ready, I wanted him to just get to know his brother without reservation. Looking back in hindsight Luke would of handled the entire news as he does everything... contemplative, inquisitive, and lovingly. But, the truth is I don't think I was ready to share all of it yet.
When we did finally share more of the diagnosis it was on the eve of our first Buddy Walk, when Reid was 10 and 1/2 months. Quite a few of Luke's friends were going to be joining us for the walk in the morning and I didn't want him to hear about his brother's diagnosis from his friends. So, Toby and I sat him down and told him in more scientific terms what else Down syndrome meant for Reid besides his heart complications. We shared with him in detail and then told him how lucky Reid was to have such a super big brother who could help teach him things. You could see the wheels turning in Luke's head so we asked him if he had any questions....his response was "No...but hang on a second..." and he then proceeded to pick up a book from the coffee table and went right over to Reid and said, "See this word buddy, it says sss-k-y...sky". Toby and I looked at each other and knew right then and there that Luke was indeed going to be the best big brother for Reid.
*The picture on top was taken when Reid was about 2 1/2.... He is looking through one of Luke's anatomy books while Luke explains to him what the Dr. did to repair his heart.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
On the way home from school the other day Luke told me, "Mom, I don't care how long it takes or how hard it is... I am going to teach Reid until he can get into the GATE class". GATE meaning Gifted And Talented Education, which Luke is currently in the cluster class for. He totally caught me off guard. OH MY GOSH, what a sweetheart this little boy is! And with all that is in him, he means it...the love and expectations of a brother are just unmeasurable! I truly believe that if we have high expectations for our children, all our children, and give them opportunity to grow and shine, they will. Somehow Luke has learned that already.