I always felt (and still do) that Ricki’s siblings handle having a special-needs sister rather well. It is true that one of them has been tormenting her lately, but I suspect that it has much more to do with his age (15) than anything else. I’ve had 15 year old boys with younger sisters in the house before, and I know the scenario by heart. I suspect that families where teenagers don’t kick each other under the table (on occasion) only exist in fairy tales.
[As an aside, I love for my children to read, but wonder sometimes how any parent is expected to be able to measure up to the standards portrayed in our children’s books: always loving, calm, original, and baking cookies. It’s a hard act to compete with. I wonder sometimes if little kids think they got short-changed. (Why little? Once they get older, they have probably seen parents a lot worse than theirs….) That should balance the scales a bit….]
Anyway, today I was talking today to the daughter of a friend, who also has a sister with Down syndrome. (That’s how her mom and I met.) She’s about eleven, and is witty, funny, and refreshing to hear. She hates when her sister sings (loudly) the same song 10 times. But she is fiercely proud of her at the same time. It really is a special situation, that if not abused, leads children to grow up more mature, more giving, more appreciative of what a blessing normalcy is.