My Little Angel has been a true angel these school holidays. She has spent her summer holidays either at the Institute or helping us with Cam's therapy at home or listening to us talking about Cam and the Institute or being very understanding and patient because Cameron's needs have been greater. It has taken over our holidays and she hasn't complained once.
She hasn't been perfect, I am not going to pretend I have a perfect angel but when I look back over the summer holidays she has had to deal with a lot and most people have not realized the role she has played. We have reached a point now that I can't cope in our appointments without her and at home she often begs to be allowed to help Cameron with his cards and broom handle.
At times she has been clingy and at other times she's asked for her own time but that is understandable and we have made an effort to make sure she has had some special days and lots of cuddles and attention. Grandad has come to the institute twice over the last week so she could have some special time with Grannie which has put a huge smile on her face.
This morning it was My Little Angel who found Cameron laying on the ground and this evening she has been a little panicked about him. She even told us we better check him because he'd shut the door and she couldn't hear him singing. She's worrying about him.
People don't understand the impact on siblings who share their lives with siblings who have special needs. They constantly make sacrifices and they watch the stresses their parents go through and they try to help whilst being impacted by their own emotional response to the situation.
We have seen My Little Angel struggle emotionally because of the life she lives in our family. You couldn't find a more loyal, loving or caring sister and it breaks my heart sometimes to watch her fears for her brother and how confused she gets.
This evening she got very confused because Cameron was still up and she was going to bed. This may not sound like something that should upset her but you've got to look at the big picture. My Little Angel has grown up with her big brother being treated like her little brother and quite often she is given privileges which are more than Cameron is given. Such as staying up later. Why all of a sudden have the rules changed? Because Cameron has changed and suddenly doesn't need as much sleep but how is an eight year old supposed to understand all that? It's a lot for us as parents to absorb so how is she supposed to cope.
We spend a lot of time making sure that My Little Angel gets time with us which is special time just for her. We make sure that we don't forget her age and that she has different needs to Cameron. it gets challenging at times but we have to. She is just as important and we love her just as much.
Every family is different and every sibling is different just as every person with special needs is different but I think we can all agree that life is definitely not normal for a brother or sister who shares their life with a sibling who has special needs.
So here's to My Little Angel who brings incredible sunshine to our days and sometimes supports us more than the adults. We are so lucky she is our Angel.