Friday, July 8, 2016

Sisters

* E2 has diagnosed developmental delays and a language disorder.

Dear E1,

I am sorry. I am sorry for all the times you frustrate me because you want attention. I am sorry because in that moment you deserve the attention, but your sister gets my undivided attention if she is in the room. It is the truth and you know it. It has been your truth since the day she was born. Sure, every older sibling has had to adjust to sharing the spotlight, but in time the spotlight gets shared equally. That is not the case in this house. Yes, you get praised and cheered on, but not like E2.

E2 gets cheers and praise for getting dressed. She is almost 5 and you know by now she should have this figured out. You get barked at for taking so long to get dressed.

E2 gets cheers and praise for eating. Literally eating. You get to clear your plate.

E2 gets cheers and praise for jumping in the pool and getting her chin wet while you do flips off the diving board.

E2 gets cheers and praise for saying a complete sentence and you get shushed because you interrupted the sentence.

E2 gets cheers and praise for remembering her letters and sounds all the while you read many grade levels above and are an exceptional student.

This list is endless and I could blog pages of all the times you've sacrificed for E2. There are days I feel overwhelmingly guilty, like the days you get bored while we wait two hours for E2 to complete speech and occupational therapy. I don't feel guilty for making you wait. I feel guilty because I reprimanded you at least four times in two hours and seriously, what the fuck are you supposed to do during that time? There are only so many books to read and so many games to play. I am not sure why I expect you to not complain.

I watch you get frustrated as E2 asks the same question about the same movie we've watched a thousand times because she still does not understand. I hear myself reprimanding you and telling you to be more patient because damn it, she needs more time. I hear you mumble at the end of a long day with E2, "I wish she was like other kids." And it makes me cry.

BUT

I am not sorry because you have a sister. A sister. Not everyone has a sibling.
I am not sorry because you understand unconditional love.
I am not sorry because I see the love in your smile when your sister screams your name when you get off the bus.
I am not sorry because you get to be the boss in every game and love it.
I am not sorry because you are an exceptional student and it will be E2 who constantly lives in your academic shadow.
I am not sorry because you have athletic ability that will again out shine anything E2 accomplishes.
I am not sorry because you have friends.
I am not sorry because your little sister waits while you do homework, have a play date, take violin lessons, play tennis, finish tumbling class....your list of when E2 sacrifices is long!
I am not sorry because you have an amazing life.

That's right, you and your sister have an amazing life. I realize all the times you BOTH have to be patient for the sake of each other. E2 forgives your lose cannon temper and you forgive her for taking up most of our time.

You are SISTERS.
You learn from each other.
You've taught each other love, laughter, joy, anger, compassion and patience.
I am not sorry.
I am proud.



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