‘I know it can feel unfair. But through it all, you’ve never complained or compared.’: Mom’s sweet acknowledgment of sister’s patience for sibling with special needs

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“To my ‘Neuro-typical’ daughter…

I see you. I know it might feel like most of my time, thoughts, and efforts are spent on your brother, but please know that I see you. I know it can feel unfair sometimes. When your schedule gets rearranged to accommodate a new therapy or social group. I know it’s confusing why you go to school while your brother does school at home. I know it wasn’t fun trying all the new diets; all-natural, gluten-free, dye-free, sugar-free, all the frees.

But through it all, you have been gracious, patient, and kind. When you were a brand new four, I can remember you coaching your big brother to take deep breaths when he had one of his meltdowns. No one asked you to, but you knew, even when you were so little. I see your patience. I see your gentle soul. I see you.

sister sits with her special needs brother as they are flipping through a book
Courtesy of Brittany Habeck

I just want you to know I think about you just as much. I know as you grow older, you will hear us worry about your brother. We will worry about if he will be independent enough, if he will hold down a job, if he will be successful in friendship and love. But we will worry about you just as much.

Just like your brother, we will worry about your happiness, whether you will achieve your dreams, and worry about when you leave the nest and start your own family. It’s true, the worries we have for you and your brother may be different at times, but we worry about you both just the same.

daughter sits with headphones on while coloring a picture making a pucker face
Courtesy of Brittany Habeck

I remember your brother’s first day of kindergarten, I stressed about how many meltdowns may happen, if they would understand him, if I would get a call from the teacher, and if he will make any friends. For you, my only worry was about how much I would miss you. Because I see how strong you are. I see how you have grown and learned from having a brother who may need a little extra help. I have seen you make friends with kids just like him, and I am so proud because somewhere, I know another mom worries about her child making friends too. I see your kindness. I see your big heart. I see you.

siblings sit on hay bails in festive fall outfits holding pumpkins
Courtesy of Brittany Habeck

I know it’s easy to feel lost in the bustle of everything else. I try to make special time for just you, but I know it can still be hard. I know my schedule is full of slots for your brother, but I want you to know I will always have time for you. Sometimes, I lie awake at night just thinking about you. I pray you never feel left out or less loved. Through it all, you have never complained, never compared, and never begrudged. Maybe this will change, but I want you to know I will understand if one day you do. I see how much you love your brother and I know how much he loves you, even if he doesn’t know how to show it. I hope you always know just how loved you are.

I want you to know I see your strengths and struggles, I see your likes and dislikes, I see your hopes and dreams.

I see you.”

daughter shows her sewing project off to the camera with a large smile on her face
Courtesy of Brittany Habeck

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brittany Habeck. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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