The second time I found out I was pregnant, I cried for a week. Not happy tears. No. Fearful, overwhelmed, I-can’t-do-this tears. In fact, I begged my husband not to tell anyone the news until I could say it without crying.

Why? Because I had a tiny six-month-old daughter at home and was just barely starting to figure out what it meant to be a parent. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t know that she had Cornelia de Lange syndrome!

What I also didn’t realize at the time was that her brother would be the best thing for her development. An around-the-clock role model of typical developmental milestones. Walking. Talking. Eating. Trouble-making. (Well, maybe getting painted in white-out and vasoline weren’t exactly helpful, but my virtual twins were partners in crime for several years.) And when he had far surpassed her in development, we had another surprise baby to push her even further along.

A child with special needs is often not the only child in the family. And the mixture of siblings creates a unique dynamic of their own. The trick is finding the balance so that the needs of one don’t completely overshadow the others. (In fact, some parents schedule individual “date” outings with each child.)

In making lemonade, the addition of other fruit creates the flavor combinations needed for pink lemonade, or cherry lemonade, or even watermelon lemonade. (In the back of the print version of Making Lemonade: Parents Transforming Special Needs, I included a sampling of various recipes to illustrate this point!)

Lemons. Sugar. Water. And fruity siblings. Now, to combine them!

What about you? How do you keep a balance between the needs of your children? Do you appreciate the unique-ness of your family dynamic?

Fruity Siblings
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One thought on “Fruity Siblings

  • August 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Candee, what a precious message! Fruit flavored lemonades are definitely more fun and refreshing! God sure makes beautiful things out of the different ingredients in our lives! Blessings! 🙂

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