It is true, she gets more attention, she sees a million doctors, she has five therapists who see her weekly, she receives medication three times per day and requires pretty much constant one-on-one care during every waking moment. Esen has matured far beyond his age over the past year and it is hard to remember sometimes that his is just a little boy who still needs to be treated as such. That day, that moment was a huge wake up call for me. We need to slow down, take a breath, lower our expectations of him just a bit and remember that he needs time and attention just as much as Marissa does, just in a different way.
I know that his life as a big brother is going to be very different from the lives of his peers. He so often talks about 'when Marissa is bigger and can walk,' or 'when Marissa starts to talk,' 'when Marissa grows up and rides her bike.' Sometimes he gets that she is different, but definitely does not yet see the degree of her differences. I think it won't be clear to him until they are both just a little bit older or until friends start to point out to him just how different she is that he will realize the impact her medical needs will continue to have on her and our family life.
That all said, I do feel a small sense of loss for him. It makes me sad that he may one day look at her and wish she was different - wish she was "normal." Yet, on the other hand, she gives him a great gift as well - the gift of acceptance, patience and understanding that other children do not and will not have.
So, for me, for us, it means we are not doing a good job right now of balancing. I'm glad my little guy was able to verbalize this to me. I'm glad I have a chance to address this now and not let it go on. Yes, we are adding more children to our family. Yes, the challenges will grow and yes, some think it is the wrong choice. For us, it is not. Children are not a mistake, they are not an accident. We do not walk away when things get difficult, we don't shy away from challenges - we face them, deal with them and move on. The new kiddos will change our family dynamic for sure, but I believe the change will be a positive one.