Tuesday, June 5, 2012

T21 Tuesday: Down Syndrome and Siblings

Not long after Claire was born my mother-in-law said she had many people ask her if we were going to have more kids.  I'm not sure if this was really my mother-in-law's question, or if a lot of strangers were actually that curious about our family plans.  Either way, the intention behind the question was clear.

Your first child wasn't who you expected, do you really want to try your luck again?

While we may not have planned for Down syndrome to be part of our life, the answer to more children was a resounding YES.  We had planned on 2 kids (or as my husband likes to say...at least 2 kids), and Claire didn't change that at all.  Claire is sweet, has a great sense of humor, and is a lot of fun.  Who wouldn't want all that in a big sister?

Our second daughter, Bridget, was born three months ago.  Just as I expected, Claire is a great big sister.  She loves to hold Bridget, cover her in kisses, and always has a blanket handy just in case she needs one.  Claire is very protective of her sister and makes she that everyone know that Bridget is Claire's baby.  Although in true toddler style, Claire is a little bit quite rough with her sister at times.  Being gentle is a work in progress.

I know that Bridget will be able to learn many things from her sister.  How to splash so much at bath time that the entire bathroom is soaked.  How to empty a kitchen cabinet in 7 seconds.  How to sign milk and dad, among many others.

I hope she also learns compassion towards other people.  That different isn't bad, it's just different.  That challenges don't mean you quit, they are just an opportunity to show yourself and others what you really are capable of.

Just like any siblings, I know my girls will teach each other many things.  Good things and bad things.  Most of all, I hope they teach each other that a sister is always someone you can count on.


  1. We had the same questions! I am happy to report that Ariana loves her sister as much as an 18mo old can. She searches for her when she gets up in the morning and plants many, many slobbery kisses all over her baby sister. She likes to leave toys on all of the Coralai's things as if she was trying to share. However, opposite of Claire, Ariana chooses to steal her sisters blankets. Maybe Coralai is just hot and only Ariana knows. Haha.

  2. Since Kaylen was always definitely our last even before we knew about the Ds, I sometimes think when people ask me that question and I answer, "Nope, we're done", maybe I need to clarify that it has nothing to do with Ds. We're old and tired and our house is crowded....

  3. Claire will teach her all the great big sister stuff! But even more than that, she will teach her compassion for other people. And that can be hard to find nowdays!!

  4. People ask me that all the time and Madi isn't even our first. I know that they are really secretly wanting to know if I would be willing to have another child with Ds. Even though my husband and I haven't really decided whether we are done or not, I always tell them that we want more......just so they "get" the fact that we are incredibly happy with our daughter with Ds. She is perfect in our eyes!!!!

  5. LOVE THIS!! And that picture of Claire and Bridget is soooo precious!! :)

  6. Such a sweet photo. I had people ask too but most of my family members thought we should have more. I was scared, I won't lie, but I am so happy with our family of 5. It's perfect, just the way it was meant to be.

  7. I love the picture, and I love your attitude. You guys are such special people.


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