Sometimes it’s not.

I don’t know how else to answer that question that I’ve been hearing so much of lately from Olivia. I understand her frustration, sadness, and/or embarrassment. My heart breaks for her, but it also breaks for Christian when he is struggling, and more often than not right now, it is torn in opposite directions.

How is it fair that we have to leave a party just as she is getting settled and starting to play with cousins who she rarely sees? How is it fair that we have to ask Christian to stay in a place where he is clearly overwhelmed and in a high state of ‘fight or flight’ mode? How is it fair that she cries all the way home? How is it fair that he cries all the way there?

How is it fair that she has to sit through Sunday School when Christian gets his lesson taught by mom in a separate room? How is it fair that she has to sit through church as Brian and I take turns watching a taped service in another room because her brother can’t be in church (for reasons unknown to us)? How is it fair that he is so clearly overwhelmed by things that he cannot express in words to help us understand how he is feeling and why he is acting the way that he is?

How is it fair that she has to watch Mom wrestle her half-dressed brother out of her friend’s house when he refuses to leave and we just have to go? How is it fair that he gets to stay home when it is the day of her school play performance and she has to attend most of his functions?

How is it fair???

Sometimes it just isn’t.

It is a compromise. A give-and-take. A dance.

I pray that someday she (and he) will understand the decisions that we have had to make. That we want to make things as fair as possible, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to be ‘fair’ the way that is expected.

Yep. My Liv is younger, but she plays the role of the Big Sister so often. Not that I think she minds much. She wants to be the older one.

It cut my heart a bit last week, though, when I sat down with Christian’s teacher and reviewed some of the recent testing that they had completed. We were curious to see what developmental level Christian was testing at as it had been three years since he last round of testing. The results showed that he is testing at a developmental age 2-1/2 years below his chronological age. OK. I guess I wasn’t too overly surprised by that, but what smacked me was realizing that my 23-month younger daughter had now surpassed my son by about 3-years+ in developmental age. That isn’t supposed to happen. It’s just not.

Thankfully, my kids don’t seem to mind who has what developmental vs. chronological age. I am praying that it will always be this way. I don’t understand God’s plans, but I know that he has great things in store for both of my beautiful children. I’m praying to feel the peace that this knowledge brings.

Olivia and I had a discussion on the way to school yesterday about communication.  About how some people can’t use words or have a hard time using words to tell other people what they want or need.

Liv was  taking this in and thinking seriously about it.  Then she said, “Some people use sign language.”

“That’s right, honey.”

“And Christian uses ‘hand language.'” [Huh?]  “When he tells us what we wants by showing us instead of talking.”

Absolutely.

Then our conversation meandered back to her birthday.  However, I was still stuck on her simple explanation to Christian’s non-verbal form of communication.

“Hand Language.”

She gets it.  She really does.  🙂